February 25, 2018

Ashanti Billie's parents speak about their tragedy, following arrest

12 November 2017, 02:16 | Darnell Patrick

Retired Navy Veteran Charged With Kidnapping Slain Teenager Ashanti Billie

Arrest made in connection with killing of 19-year-old Va. college student

According to court documents, Billie's co-workers at a Blimpie's restaurant on the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek said Brown visited the establishment frequently and attempted to flirt with the victim "on several occasions".

On Wednesday, 45-year-old Eric Brian Brown was charged with federal kidnapping and murder in Billie's disappearance and subsequent death.

Ashanti Billie's body was found in September behind a north Charlotte church, 10 days after she disappeared from a Naval base in Norfolk. Almost two weeks later, her body was found near a church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"He preyed on her", Ashanti Billie's father, Meltony Billie, said Thursday morning.

Brown, a 21-year veteran, is homeless and reportedly lived at random facilities and buildings on and off the naval bases. He reportedly stopped coming to the Blimpie's after Billie vanished, they said.

"If this was allowed to happen on a naval base, it can happen anywhere", Billie's mother, Brandy Billie said.

"How is it that this guy was able to roam around base?" Her trousers were missing, and her arms were bound above her head inside a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and shirt, the affidavit says.

"I never actually pictured what he looked like beforehand", she said.

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"This is the person - this is the coward that took our child's life?" she said. "We just bought the vehicle in July", said Brandy. He said they were "gold diggers" who "only want guys with all the money", court documents say. Billie, the daughter of two veterans, was discovered 300 miles away from her job at a Virginia naval base where she was last seen. At times, his comments could devolve into openly crude comments about the woman's body, the affidavit says. Two miles away, additional video showed the auto stopped at a construction site where the driver tossed something into a dumpster.

After 13News Now released the video, one of the construction workers who helped build the Blimpie's contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, saying that he recognized the man in the video as Eric Brown.

In a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office they say a search of Brown's web history showed that he looked up Norfolk news with terms like "police looking for man", "Norfolk police looking for man in connection with homicide", "Amber Alert Sept 2017", "missing woman and baby", and "missing woman and man".

DNA recovered from Billie's body was consistent with Brown's DNA profile, prosecutors said.

On Sept. 23, Billie's unlocked auto was found in Norfolk with the keys on the passenger seat. He had attended vacation bible school at the church.

"The day she got the auto, she pulled up in front of our apartment complex and got out and just started dancing", her mother Brandy Billie recalled.

Brown was arrested in early October in Virginia on a series of charges, including trespassing and solicitation.

If convicted, Brown could face up to life in prison.

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