Ashanti Billie: 19-Year-Old Vanished From Virginia Naval Base, Body Found In Charlotte
Ashanti Billie was a student who wanted to start a culinary career. She worked at a sandwich shop because she was a foodie, her parents said.
The family of Ashanti Billie is grieving anew after federal officials arrested a Navy veteran in her death. Billie, a 19-year-old who vanished in September from a naval base in Virginia.
Billie’s family is full of veterans as well and they are seething over the news that a fellow service member would commit such a heinous act.
Forty-five-year-old Eric Brian Brown, a homeless day laborer, reportedly told authorities that he hated black women. He faces murder and kidnapping charges.
Brown was originally arrested on separate charges but federal officials said they have retrieved video and phone records linking him to the slaying. His DNA was also found on Billie’s body.
Brown "lives at random facilities and buildings on and off the naval bases," prosecutors reportedly said in an arrest affidavit.
On Sept. 18, Billie, a student at the Virginia Beach Art Institute, was reported missing after she failed to show up at her job at a Blimpies sandwich shop that was on the base. Records show that she passed through the naval base’s gates, but never arrived at her job.
On Sept. 23, her car was found. Five days later her clothing was found near a dumpster. On Sept., 29, her body was found 300 miles away in Charlotte, North Carolina outside a neighborhood church.
Days after Billie’s body was found, Brown told a law enforcement that he hated African-American women. He called them "gold diggers" who "only want guys with all the money," according to court documents, NBC reports.
“Today, I am angry again,” Brandy Billie told the news station. "This was a veteran that did this to us. [Ashanti] was a child of veterans. She's been around the military her whole life."
Authorities said that Brown was known to frequent the sandwich shop where Billie worked.
The night of Billie’s disappearance, Brown said that he “blacked out,” meaning that he told authorities that he couldn’t remember whether he did anything to Billie or not.
“This is a coward that took our child’s life,” the victim’s mother, Brandy Billie told NBC News. “I said before that he didn’t deserve to breathe the air she breathed in and I still feel the same way.”
Ashanti's parents said that they were start a scholarship in honor of their daughter.