NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, Va. -- The rewards being offered in hopes of finding a missing Northumberland woman continue to increase after a 50-year-old Heathsville man was arrested in connection with her disappearance, according to authorities.
Tyrone N. Samuel was arrested Saturday and charged with the abduction of Ahreal Smith, according to Sheriff Johnny Beauchamp.
"Ahreal remains missing at this time and we continue to investigate her whereabouts," Beauchamp posted Sunday on the Northumberland County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.
No other details about the case were released, but Beauchamp said family members are offering a $2,000 reward as well as a $1,000 reward offered by Little Sue Corp. for information that leads deputies to Smith's location.
Youth Empowerment Strategies for Success (YESS) is offering up to $5,000, Bright Eyes Concession Food Truck has offered $2,400 and Ball's Landscaping has offered $1,000 — bringing the total amount of reward money for information up to $9,400.
Clerk last seen outside Little Sue Wednesday night
Family members said the 28-year-old woman was last seen around 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Claraville Little Sue Store in Heathsville where she works as a clerk.
Surveillance footage showed 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 was 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.
Smith 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 store's day-shift clerk found Smith's 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.
Woman's sister: 'Just let her go'
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 were searching for a Crown Vick car with blacked-out windows that was 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.
Smith was last seen wearing a black Nike hoodie, blue jeans and brown Ugg boots. She has multiple tattoos.
"If this was your family what would you want somebody to do?" said Lydia in the video update posted from the sheriff's office.
Anyone with information about Ahreal Smith's whereabouts is urged to call Northumberland County Sheriff's Office at 804-580-5221.
This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email email@example.com to send a tip.