VIRGINIA BEACH, Va - Family members of Ashanti Billie and Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer gathered to commemorate the fourth anniversary of her tragic disappearance. Mayor Dyer presenting a proclamation to the Billie family to remember the 19-year-old who went missing in 2017 in Norfolk and was found 11 days later.
"I, Bobby Dyer, mayor of the city of Virginia Beach, proclaim September 18th, 2021 Ashanti Alert Awareness Day in Virginia Beach." Bobby Dyer said, the mayor of Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer proclaiming September 18th a day to honor and remember Ashanti Billie.
"You are in our hearts, minds, and prayer, God Bless you," Mayor Dyer said to Brandy Billie-Moore, Ashanti Billie’s mother.
The man accused of abducting and killing Billie, Eric Brown, remains behind bars.
Her death sparked a movement to create a federal missing person’s alert for people ages 18 to 64. Her death led to the Ashanti Alert Act, a national public safety alert issued for missing adults between the ages of 18 and 65.
"Brandi, I just can’t possibly imagine the trials and tribulations you went through and the emotions. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare," Mayor Dyer said.
Now four years later, Ashanti Billie’s mother and sister remembering the 19-year-old.
"Our goal was to always bring her home and that’s what we said. We said we wanted to bring Ashanti home. We brought her home. It just wasn’t the way we wanted or we the way we thought we would bring her home. She home to God," Brandy Billie-Moore said, Ashanti Billie’s mother. "She went back to God because he allowed us to be her parents for 19 years and a half in her life and then he allowed her to continue to help people after her death. That’s something a lot of people can’t say they have done."
Billie’s mother says Virginia Beach and Norfolk holds a special place in her heart.
"You showed me family and strength. You came tighter and helped us and we thank you for that and I know Ashanti does as well. Thank you," Billie-Moore said.
September 18th is a day Brandy Billie-Moore says she will never forget.
"It's bittersweet. One part of me is very happy about it. The other part is sad because it’s the day we found out that she was missing," Billie-Moore said.
In 2020, the Department of Justice rolled out a federal pilot program offering states $1 million dollars to implement the Ashanti alert system, similar to the Amber Alert or Silver Alert. Recently Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner called for full funding of the Ashanti Alert system.