Virginia lawmaker introduces bipartisan Ashanti Alert Act on floor of Congress

Posted at 12:14 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 12:56:59-05

RICHMOND, Va. – Congressman Scott Taylor introduced a bipartisan bill in Congress on Friday that is in honor and recognition of Ashanti Billie, and those that have gone missing under similar circumstances.

Ashanti Billie

The Ashanti Alert Act would act as an “Amber Alert” type of system to help local and regional law enforcement efforts in finding people who are between the ages of 19 and 65.

Congressman Taylor was joined by fellow legislators Lamar Smith (TX-21), David Ciclline (RI-01) and Jamie Raskin (MD-08) in presenting the bill.

Like the Amber Alert, this bill would allow for law enforcement to more easily use media outlets such as commercial radio stations, television stations, and cable television – to broadcast information about missing persons. The law enforcement agency that is investigating the case would have the authority and decision to make the alert.

“Giving law enforcement the similar ability of an Amber alert, but for missing adults will rapidly bring government and public resources to bear,” said Congressman Scott Taylor. “This legislation will, no doubt, save lives and help prevent future tragedies. Sometimes lessons learned come from the worst case scenarios, such as the Ashanti Billie case, but from the dark we can help bring light.”

Ashanti Billie was abducted back on September 18, 2017, by Eric Brian Brown, from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Norfolk, where she worked.

Investigators later found her body in Charlotte.

“We already have emergency alert systems to help us locate missing children and senior citizens, but what about missing and endangered adults?  This bipartisan proposal gives state and local law enforcement the tools to issue emergency alerts for people between 18 and 65 who go missing. I’m proud to join Congressman Taylor and other colleagues in introducing this legislation that we hope will help our families and save lives,” said Representative Raskin.

Billie was from Maryland, but had made her way to Hampton Roads in August 2017 so that she could attend culinary school in the area.

To see more coverage of the Ashanti Billie case by News 3, click here.