The road to finding justice for the death of 19-year-old Ashanti Billie who was found dead in North Carolina days after disappearing from her job at Virginia has reached a milestone with the filing of charges on Wednesday against a Navy veteran.
The Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced Wednesday that 45-year-old Eric Brian Brown faces a murder charge from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and a federal kidnapping charge.
An arrest affidavit says Brown is homeless, and worked as a laborer and slept at buildings on and around the naval bases. As a retired Navy petty officer, Brown also had access to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach. Prosecutors said Brown, a 21-year Navy veteran, visited the restaurant where Billie worked on an almost daily basis.
Billie, a student at The Art Institute if Virginia Beach failed to show up for her job at the Blimpie sandwich shop on the naval base which Brown frequents, prompting those who know her to report her as missing o September 18.
It took 11 days before she was found, unfortunately as a dead body. Billie’s remains were discovered more than 300 miles away from her workplace, outside a church in a residential neighborhood of Charlotte.
Billie’s mother, Brandy Billie, could not help but express her rage against the man who took her daughter’s life. She said in a news conference on Wednesday that seeing Brown’s picture was “like looking ar a monster.”
The mother of the victim added: “Like this is the person- this is the coward that took our child’s life?”
While Billie was thankful for Brown being charged, she still has lingering questions on her mind like how Brown was able to live inside the military base, and why there are no existing security cameras inside the sandwich shop where her daughter worked.
Billie said: “Today, I am angry again. This was a veteran that did this to us.” She even added that her own murdered daughter was a child of a veteran. She said her daughter had been around the military “her whole life.”
Brown also told law enforcement on the day Billie’s body was found that he hated African-American women because he thinks they are nothing but gold diggers.
Witnesses said they have seen Brown’s past attempts to flirt with the victim and even said a crude remark against her on one occasion.
The DNA found in the victim’s body also matched the DNA profile of Brown.
If convicted for the kidnapping charges, aside from the murder charges, Brown will face up to life in prison.