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Family searching for Northumberland woman who went missing under suspicious circumstances

Family searching for missing Northumberland woman
Posted at 10:31 PM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 11:28:51-05

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, Va. -- Family members and the Northumberland County Sheriff's Office are searching for a 28-year-old woman who was last seen Wednesday night in Heathsville.

Officials said Ahreal Smith was last seen around 9 p.m. at the Claraville Little Sue Store, where she works as a clerk. Surveillance footage shows her walking out of the store at approximately 9:05 p.m. to start her car.

Around 9:18 p.m., she got into another car, but then got back out. The driver of this vehicle was questioned by detectives, but is not considered a person of interest.

After she got out of the car, she prepared to lock up for the evening. Deputies said she was seen on surveillance going back into the store to set the alarm, then walked out and locked the door before picking up a bag of trash on the front stoop.

She was last seen on camera taking the bag of trash towards the dumpsters located on the east side of the store — where cameras could no longer see her. She was not seen on camera again after that.

Deputies said the day shift clerk of the store found her car parked outside the store the next morning still running.

Virginia State Police used a K-9 unit to track her scent from the dumpsters at the store. The K-9 caught a trail that led from the store to Walnut Point Road for about 100 yards before it ended.

In a video update released Friday morning, Northumberland County Sheriff Johnny Beauchamp said they believe where the track ended is where she may have gotten into another vehicle.

Deputies are searching for a Crown Vick car with blacked-out windows that is considered to be a vehicle of interest.

"That's my sister. That's all I got. If anybody knows anything, just let her go," Lydia Smith, Ahreal's sister, said.

Ahreal is described as a 28-year-old Black woman with multiple tattoos. She was last seen wearing a black Nike hoodie, blue jeans and brown Ugg boots.

"If this was your family what would you want somebody to do?" said Lydia in the video update posted from the sheriff's office.

Beauchamp said his office's entire detective division is working on the case, and the FBI has agreed to help in the investigation.

He added that he appreciated the community wanting to help search for Ahreal, but they do not have a specific location where they believe they should search for her.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Northumberland County Sheriff's Office at (804) 580-5221 or message them on Facebook.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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