NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, Va. — The man charged in abducting 28-year-old Ahrea'L Smith was denied bond during his first court appearance on Friday in Northumberland County.
Commonwealth's Attorney Jane Wrightson said there is evidence that Smith was in 50-year-old Tyrone Samuel's house the night she disappeared. Officers said cellphone data led them to Samuel as a suspect.
Detectives found a body on Samuel's property Tuesday that matched Smith's description, but investigators are still waiting on a positive identification from the Medical Examiner's Office.
Currently, Samuel is only charged with abduction, but more charges could be coming.
Samuel's court-appointed defense attorney said he cooperated with investigators when they came to talk to him, and he never tried to flee.
The judge said he denied bond for Samuel because he viewed Samuel as a danger to the community, and the judge and prosecutor also mentioned concerned about Samuel's safety as well.
Smith was reported missing 10 days ago after her car was found running and empty at the Claraville Little Sue convenience store in Heathsville, where she worked as a clerk. She was last seen on the store's surveillance cameras taking out the trash before she was never seen again.
Three days later, Samuel was arrested and charged with Smith's abduction.
Samuel's next court appearance is scheduled for March 7.