NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Virginia State Police issued an Ashanti Alert for a missing 35-year-old woman, last seen in Newport News Sunday morning, who is believed to be in "extreme danger."
Shanita Mikell Eure-Lewis was last seen between 9:30 a.m. and noon Sunday, July 17, in the area of Gethsemane Baptist Church on Roanoke Avenue.
Eure-Lewis is a Black woman with black hair and brown eyes, standing 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 178 pounds. According to police, she was last seen wearing a pinstripe shirt, cream-colored pants and tan flats.
Police handed out missing person flyers of Eure-Lewis in hopes of finding the the 35-year old mother. She was last seen by her family and friends at Gethsamane Baptist Church during Sunday’s church service.
"Shanita is like a daughter. She grew up here through the church," Vera Riddick, the first lady of Gethsamane Baptist Church in Newport News, told News 3's Leondra Head.
Vera Riddick says she’s praying that Shenita Eure-Lewis is found safe.
"She was here Sunday. We talked, joked and she said she was going to get her sons and coming back, so we expected her to come back," Vera Riddick said.
But Eure-Lewis never returned for the second church service.
"This is the pastor’s, my husband’s anniversary this week, and she was actually the chair. For her not to come back for the second service was really unusual," Riddick said.
Gethsemane Baptist Church had a prayer service for Eure-Lewis praying for her safe return. Chief Steve Drew spoke before the congregation saying that his officers are working diligently to find Eure-Lewis.
Police and detectives searched her house today after obtaining a search warrant. Drew also said the vehicle Eure-Lewis was last seen in has been located.
"The vehicle was located in Hampton. We have officers headed there now. We’ll obtain a search warrant for that vehicle and process it, just like we did the house. We’re not going to leave any stone unturned. I want to make sure that there is nothing inside that house, anything that points to any information, any indication or cell phones. Is there any notes, letters," Drew said.
Eure-Lewis has two sons under the age of 18 and is married.
"Is her husband a person of interest?" Head asked Drew.
"Her husband is definitely somebody I want to talk to. Detectives are talking to him at this point. I think the last person to be with her is somebody we want to spend some time with. There’s a lot of questions and hopefully he’ll be able to answer some of them," Drew said.
Pastor Dwight Riddick of Gethsemane Baptist Church says he and his congregation are hoping for a safe return.
"This is a really tough time. It's almost like it can’t be real," Dwight Riddick said. "Shanita was a very active member of our church. I really considered her family — [she was] very supportive, was in leadership in our church, a very devoted mother."
Newport News Police are urging anyone with information or leads of where Shanita Eure-Lewis is to call 757-928-4300.