U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente announced Wednesday a retired Navy veteran was arrested and charged for the kidnapping of a 19-year-old woman from Virginia Beach.
Forty-five-year-old Eric Brian Brown allegedly abducted 19-year-old Ashanti M. Billie on September 18, as she arrived for work at the Blimpie’s located on the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek. Law enforcement officers located Billie’s body in a wooded area behind a church on Greir’s Grove Road in Charlotte, North Carolina. The location was about 300 yards from Brown’s childhood home, according to court documents.
Billie’s coworkers told detectives Brown would visit Blimpie’s almost daily. He was also seen often in nearby establishments, such as a Laundromat located next door to Blimpie’s. It was also reported that Brown would attempt to “flirt” with Billie on multiple occasions and made a “crude sexual comment” to her on at least one occasion.
Detectives obtained video surveillance footage that showed Billie’s vehicle entering the base at approximately 4:58 a.m. on September 18. The vehicle circled the Blimpie’s at 5 a.m. and exited the base at 5:33 a.m. The driver of the vehicle was wearing dark colored clothing, consistent with the clothing Billie was wearing. Around 5:44 a.m., video surveillance camera footage from a residence recorded the driver wearing light colored clothing. The vehicle stopped at a construction dumpster in Norfolk, where workers discovered Billy’s mobile phone a few hours later.
Billie’s vehicle was located on September 23 in Norfolk. Billie’s pants, dirt and vegetative debris were recovered from the vehicle. Several witnesses reported seeing the vehicle at various locations in Charlotte during the week of September 18.
Brown utilized several mobile devices almost ever day from September 1 to September 29, with no usage data reported on September, the day Billie went missing. Wireless Internet usage data indicates Brown was on the base from September 14 through September 17, at which time usage data stopped.
No video footage from the base shoed Brown existing the base from September 14 through September 18. His web history indicates that he conducted several searches of Norfolk news, including “Norfolk police looking for man in connection with homicide” and “amber alert sept 2017.”
The kidnapping charge carries a life in prison conviction.