NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The husband of a missing Newport News mother has been extradited to Newport News and charged with her murder, police said.
Adrian Lewis, the husband of missing woman Shanitia Eure-Lewis, is charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony related to her disappearance. He is being held in the Newport News Jail.
Police issued an Ashanti Alert, or an "endangered" missing adult alert, for Eure-Lewis on Monday. According to a criminal complaint, she was last seen having an argument with him on Sunday.
Police Chief Steve Drew said in a news conference Tuesday that Eure-Lewis' body has not yet been recovered. Chief Drew said while Lewis hasn't admitted to killing her, there's a lot of evidence against him.
“My heart goes out to her family and her children. That was a hard conversation for me to have this morning,” Chief Drew said.
Friends told 13News Now that she was last seen on July 17 leaving Gethsemane Baptist Church around 9 a.m., after participating in an 8 a.m. worship service. They said she was going to go get her two sons and bring them back for the next worship service.
Her children were reportedly staying with Eure-Lewis' sister.
The criminal complaint stated Eure-Lewis was seen receiving a phone call before she left the church that morning. It goes on to say her children saw her having an argument with Lewis, and leaving her sister's home in his truck.
Testimony from her loved ones said she had shared her intentions to file for divorce earlier in the month. She had also taken all of the guns out of their home, after learning Lewis was having some suicidal thoughts.
The complaint said Lewis called Eure-Lewis' sister around 9:40 and said his wife had been having an affair. The day before, Lewis allegedly told someone else "if he ever caught Mrs. Eure-Lewis cheating on him that he would kill her."
Then around noon, he called the sister back and told her Eure-Lewis had "jumped out of the truck" near the WaWa at Jefferson Avenue and Harpersville Road. He asked if she'd heard from Eure-Lewis since then.
The sister texted Eure-Lewis after that but didn't speak to her on the phone. The criminal complaint said Lewis had his wife's cell phone -- and told someone else he was posing as his wife during that text conversation.
The next time the children saw Lewis was about 1:30 p.m. when he came to pick them up from the sister's home.
Later in the afternoon, the sister said she saw Lewis' truck parked near a garbage bin and saw him putting things in it; police recovered a shovel with dirt on it and Eure-Lewis' purse and sandals from the bin.
“Her purse was recovered, pair of shoes, sandals. I believe they were indicated by family members that it was hers. There was some type of cloth or blanket if you will, and there was a shovel that was also recovered,” said Chief Drew.
Lewis also allegedly asked a car detailer to clean his truck, and that person told police it looked like there was blood in the front seat. Lewis allegedly said it was blood from his dog who had been shot by a neighbor. Police officers say both of his dogs are healthy.
Police searched the Chevrolet Silverado and found evidence of blood in the front passenger seat. The complaint also said a cadaver dog marked the front passenger seat where Eure-Lewis was sitting when she was last seen by her children.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Lewis was arrested at the Washington Dulles International Airport Tuesday morning after getting detained by CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigators when he tried to fly to Jamaica on Monday.
CBP officers and HSI agents searched Lewis' baggage around noon Monday. In it, they found his wife's passport and credit cards.
Newport News police arrived at the airport around 1:30 p.m. Monday and were briefed on what was found in Lewis' bag.
“For me, I would appreciate it Mr. Lewis to come forward and talk to us for some questions that I don’t have answers. I think he has the answers to. But that's his right to choose not to,” said Chief Drew.
As the search continues to find Eure-Lewis, Chief Drew is asking people to not search on their own.
“I don’t want individuals to go those locations and damage or hurt any events that might be there,” said Chief Drew.