NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The Newport News police chief is shedding some new light on an Ashanti Alert issued for James Allen.
During a regularly scheduled virtual Chat with the Chief session on Tuesday evening, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew spent a couple of minutes discussing the missing person's case.
The 41-year-old man stands at 5'10" and weighs approximately 165 pounds, according to officials with NNPD. They issued an Ashanti or "critically missing adult" alert via Virginia State Police on September 19.
"Information, along with maybe some photographs and other things, led us to believe the individual may be in danger. There are some circumstances surrounding that by some interviews conducted and, of course, some time frames," said Drew.
Allen was last seen in the early morning hours of August 13 at the North Towers of Winward Towers near the intersection of 75th Street and River Road in Newport News, according to police.
Drew said they depend on citizens to file missing person reports.
"We're trying to track down some of that information. There might be some concern. I think some individuals should have said something sooner, but they're looking into that," the chief said.
In a statement sent to 13News Now on Wednesday morning, an NNPD spokesperson offered clarifications regarding the timeline of this case.
"The family reported him missing last Friday, September 16. After completing the investigation over the weekend, we requested the Ashanti Alert, sent a media release and posted on social media on Monday, September 19," the NNPD spokesperson wrote.
That aside, Drew called attention to two messages.
One for Allen: "What's important now is that we find him."
And one for the community at large: "If anyone ever feels a family member or someone is missing or endangered, the sooner you let us know, the better," Drew added.
Police also said Allen has a scar over his eye and on his chin. He has brown hair and blue eyes.
Investigators are working hard, Drew mentioned, and he expected to receive another briefing on the state of the investigation either Tuesday evening or sometime Wednesday.
If you have any information on Allen's whereabouts, you're urged to contact NNPD Detective Juneau at 757-928 - 4237 or call the NNPD non-emergency number at 757-247-2500. You may also provide information anonymously by calling the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887) or online at p3tips.com.
Moreover, in an earlier session of Chat with the Chief on Tuesday, Drew describes steadfast efforts in the search for Shanitia Eure-Lewis. Her body has not yet been found.
Law enforcement issued an Ashanti Alert for the Newport News mother on July 18. The case turned into a homicide investigation, just one day after.
Police arrested and charged her husband Adrian Lewis in connection to her death.
The chief said law enforcement received a tip last week. It would eventually lead a group of 70 people — including recruit classes and law enforcement officers — to comb through two locations. A dog and drone also assisted.
Drew mentioned the search involved some terrain, but they ultimately did not find Eure-Lewis’s body.
“It was a long last day last Friday. I saw a lot of people, I don’t want to say frustrated but really, really hopeful — me being one of them," said Drew.
Drew also said he wants to offer closure to the family. He thanked the community for continuing to lift up prayers for the department and loved ones of Eure-Lewis.