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Police: Missing Virginia Girl in 'Extreme Danger'

Authorities have issued an Amber Alert for a 12-year-old girl whose mother was found dead in their Virginia home. Police suspect Brittany Mae Smith was abducted by a man her mother had met on the Internet, and they believe she is in danger. "The child is believed to be in extreme danger and was ... likely abducted by Jeffrey Scott Easley," Roanoke County police said in a statement to AOL News. Police issued the Amber Alert for Brittany on Monday after her mother, 41-year-old Tina Smith, was found dead in their home in Salem, Va. A concerned co-worker went to the home after Smith failed to show up for her job at Richfield Retirement Community in Salem. Authorities have not commented on how Smith died, but they are investigating her death as a possible homicide, local media outlets reported. While investigating Smith's death, authorities learned Brittany was missing and had not been seen since Friday. "We found out pretty quickly that [Brittany] had not shown up for school. Nobody seemed to know where she was," Roanoke County Police Lt. Chuck Mason told WSET-TV. "We're concerned that her disappearance is going to be, at least a good possibility, it has something to do with the homicide." Easley, 32, met Smith on the Internet this summer and moved into the family home in October, according to WDBJ, Channel 7 News. Easley, a divorced man from Wilmington, N.C., reportedly works for a local landscaping company. He was last seen in Southeast Roanoke on Friday night. Easley has family in North Carolina and Alabama, police said. Authorities were initially looking for a 2000 Chevrolet SUV belonging to Easley, but they have since located the vehicle. They are now searching for Smith's car, a silver 2005 Dodge Neon sedan with Virginia tag XKF-2365. Sponsored Links Smith was reportedly divorced from Brittany's father, Ben Smith, a police officer in South Boston. Police said he was cooperating with the investigation. In 2009, the Smiths made local headlines when their son, Tyler, died while playing the fainting game. The game is a dangerous practice, in which participants partially suffocate themselves, restricting oxygen and blood flow to the brain to get a euphoric rush. "He's gone and I know that I won't be able to see him for a while," Brittany said of her brother in a September 2009 interview with WSET. Roanoke County Police are investigating the case with assistance from several other law enforcement agencies, including the Virginia State Police, FBI and U.S. Marshals Service.

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