Senator Mark Warner Meets With Family of Ashanti Billie
Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) met with the family of Ashanti Billie to continue his effort to prompt the Trump administration to implement a new, nationwide Ashanti Alert for missing persons.
In a press conference in Norfolk, Senator Warner met with Brandy Billie, Ashanti’s mother. In September 2017, Ashanti Billie was abducted from a military base in Virginia Beach, and her body was found a week and a half later in Charlotte, North Carolina. Retired Navy veteran Eric Brian Brown stands accused of Billie’s kidnapping and murder. Ashanti’s death inspired the passage of the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018, creating a national alert system for missing adults not covered by Amber or Silver Alerts.
Even though it can’t save our daughter’s life any longer, it could still help save your mother, your sister, your daughter, your friend, your loved one,” said Brandy Billie, Ashanti’s mother.
The Ashanti Alert is already active on the state level, but Warner says its been delayed on the federal level by a lack of urgency from the Department of Justice.
In a press conference today, Warner said he recently sent a letter to the D.O.J. asking what the status was of the implementation of the alert. He says answer he received was not satisfactory.
“It’s a bureacratic letter that doesn’t answer my direct questions of give us a timeline, give us when we’re going to have the outreach,” said Warner. “They have named a coordinator so I will give them that, but there needs to be a sense of urgency and that sense of urgency is missing.”
The press conference is the latest in a series of steps taken by Senator Warner to pressure the Trump administration into action. In March 2019, Warner wrote to Attorney General William Barr seeking answers from the Department of Justice about the lack of progress in implementing the Ashanti Alert program.