Clerk disappears while closing up Virginia store; man charged with abduction

·1 min read

A Virginia woman who vanished last week from the convenience store where she works remains missing even as authorities announced the arrest of a man charged with abducting her.

More than $9,000 is being offered for information leading to Ahrea’l Smith, 28, who hasn’t been seen since Wednesday night, according to the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

On Saturday, Tyrone N. Samuel, 50, was arrested and charged with Smith’s abduction, the agency said in a statement.

Sheriff Johnny Beauchamp said Smith was closing up the Little Sue store in Claraville when she disappeared. Surveillance video shows she started her car at 9:05 p.m., and then got into another vehicle briefly.

She then went back inside the store, set the alarm, locked up and took a bag of trash to dumpsters behind the store, which were not in camera view.

Ahrea'l Smith was last seen at 9 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2022. (Northumberland County Sheriff's Office)
Ahrea'l Smith was last seen at 9 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2022. (Northumberland County Sheriff's Office)

Her car was discovered, still running, by the clerk who arrived the next morning, Beauchamp said. The person whose vehicle she got into while locking up was interviewed and is not a person of interest, he said.

The FBI is assisting in the search for Smith, and reward money offered by community businesses has continued to grow. Little Sue has offered $1,000.

Smith was wearing a black hoodie, jeans and brown Uggs when she went missing, according to authorities. She has several tattoos and was wearing a black wig with a red hair clip.

"If anybody knows anything big, small, whatever — let us know, call the police," Smith's sister Lydia asked during a news conference last week.

"If this was your family, what would you want somebody to do?" she asked. "Somebody knows something; please help us. Just let my sister be returned safe."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting