Retired Navy Veteran charged with kidnapping college student Ashanti Billie
NORFOLK, VA — An arrest has been made in the abduction of 19-year-old college student Ashanti Billie.
According to court documents, 45-year-old Eric Brian Brown is accused of abducting Billie on September 18, the day her car was last seen leaving JEB Little Creek in Norfolk.
Court documents say Brown, who spent 21 years in the Navy, worked as a day laborer and participated in the construction of the Blimpie’s last summer.
Agents believe Brown is homeless and lives at random facilities and buildings on and off the naval bases.
Billie’s coworkers told officials that Brown visited the Blimpie’s almost every day, and that he was often seen in neighboring buildings, including a 24-hour laundromat next door. The workers believed that Brown worked at the laundromat.
Witnesses said they saw Brown trying to flirt with Billie on several occasions. One witness said they heard a conversation where Brown made a crude sexual comment to Billie.
Billie’s body was found 11 days later in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Billie, originally from Maryland, was attending culinary school in Norfolk. Her disappearance raised eyebrows after she did not show up for work at the Blimpie sandwich shop on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek. She also did not show up for her scheduled college classes near the Virginia Beach Town Center.
Her Mini Cooper was found near Ocean View in Norfolk, and her cell phone was discovered in a dumpster on Tallyho Terrace.
The FBI has been asking for help in finding the person responsible for Ashanit’s disappearance and death.