Search For Ahreal Smith Continues, Suspect Arrested

Crime
[NorthumberlandSheriff][Facebook]

Damir Mujezinovic

Ahreal Smith was closing up at the convenience store in Heathsville, Virginia last week when she disappeared.

Surveillance video footage shows that Smith locked up the store and then took a trash bag out the back. Smith was wearing a black Nike hoodie, blue jeans and brown Ugg boots, according to local law enforcement.

She has not been seen since.

Smith's disappearance shocked members of the family and the whole community. As the search for her continues, here's the latest update on the case.

Suspect Arrested

[NorthumberlandSheriff][Facebook]

As reported by WTVR, over the weekend, authorities arrested 50-year-old Tyrone Samuel of Northumberland and charged him with Smith's abduction.

Samuel has a long criminal record, dating back to the 1990s. He has previously been found guilty of abduction, forcible sodomy, child neglect, and drug-related crimes.

Smith, according to her family, never mentioned Samuel.

The reward for any information that helps to find Smith has been raised to $9,400. Anyone with information regarding the missing woman's whereabouts is asked to call (804) 580-5221.

'Living Nightmare'

Ahreal's sister Lydia Smith pleaded with anyone who may know anything to contact the authorities.

"For me, I can speak for the whole family. I mean, this is just like a living nightmare. Like, I don't know what I'm coming to, all the days seem the same like we're at day five that she's been missing," Lydia told WTVR.

"It's cold. I don't know where she could be. He's not talking, police and FBI working and like endlessly, on day and night," she added, noting that she believes her sister is alive.

Northumberland Police Issues Statement

In a statement issued via Facebook, Northumberland County Sheriff's Office warned the public against interfering with the investigation.

"Our office is receiving a substantial number of calls regarding threats to persons and property related to the Ahreal Smith investigation. Regardless of any intentions, violence or vigilantism will not be tolerated. We would ask the public to please understand that each one of these calls for service diverts needed resources from the investigation," the sheriff's office said.

"Our office will release vetted, accurate information as we are able. Any incidents of threats of violence or actual violence will be investigated and prosecuted," it added.

Search Continues

In a follow-up Facebook post, Northumberland County Sheriff's Office confirmed that it is collaborating with other law enforcement agencies as the search for Smith continues.

"Citizens may notice an increased police presence in the county today. Northumberland County Sheriff's Office will be partnering with federal, state, and local agencies to conduct multiple searches for Ahrea'l Smith," the statement read.

"We respectfully ask that all civilian search parties suspend their activities for the day. If you should come upon our officers working, please give us space to work. Thank you all for your cooperation," it continued.

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