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Family seeks answers after man arrested in connection to disappearance of Northumberland County woman

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:28 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2022 at 10:07 AM EST
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NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A family is still looking for answers after deputies arrested a man in connection to the disappearance of a Northumberland County woman last seen at a store in Heathsville.

Ahrea’l Smith, 28, was last seen around 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Claraville Little Sue Food Store. According to the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office, her car was found there still running Thursday morning, but there’s been no sign of her since.

Lydia Smith, Ahrea’l’s older sister, says security footage showed Ahrea’l get in and out of a vehicle just before she began locking up the store Wednesday night.

Deputies say they investigated the driver of that vehicle and found the person to no longer be a person of interest.

Ahrea’l was then seen on security footage taking trash to the dumpster behind the store but never again.

Smith says her family has tried calling her sister’s cell phone since early Thursday morning, but it goes straight to voicemail.

“It’s not pinging at all, and her phone was not in her car,” Smith said. “Everything that would normally be in her car was still there. The only thing missing was her and her cell phone.”

Deputies say they used a K9 unit to track Ahrea’l’s scent from the dumpsters to about 100-yards away onto the road behind the convenience store.

They believe that’s where she may have gotten into someone’s vehicle.

On Saturday, deputies arrested Tyrone N. Samuel, 50, of Heathsville, in connection to Smith’s disappearance and have charged him with abduction.

January 16, 2022 ******** For Immediate Release********** *** Arrest made in connection with the disappearance of...

Posted by Northumberland County Sheriff's Office - Johnny Beauchamp Sheriff on Sunday, January 16, 2022

Deputies say Smith is still missing, and there is a close to $10,000 reward being offered to help lead investigators to her location.

Smith has several tattoos, including a rose on her right thigh. She was last seen wearing a black Nike hoodie, jeans and brown Ugg boots.

The family is asking anyone with information to come forward.

“That’s my little sister - that’s all I got. Can you imagine how my grandma, my aunt, her nephews feel? Man, it’s like we’re living in a nightmare right now,” Smith said.

Anyone with information should call the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 804-580-5221.

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