Navy veteran charged in Ashanti Billie death

Eric B. Brown was arrested in relation to the disappearance and death of Ashanti Billie

Eric B. Brown was arrested in relation to the disappearance and death of Ashanti Billie

A retired Navy veteran was arrested Wednesday on a kidnapping charge in connection with Ashanti M. Billie, a 19-year-old Virginia Beach woman and Maryland native, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Virginia.

Billie's body was discovered on September 29 in Charlotte, N.C., where a caller told police he or she had found what appeared to be a deceased person behind a church, police said. This is about 300 yards from where Billie's body was found.

Court documents say Brown served 21 years in the Navy and was a construction worker. Billie's coworkers said Brown was nearly a daily regular at the Blimpie's, and they saw him around the area so often that they believed he worked on the base.

Authorities said that Eric B. Brown is charged with kidnapping in relation to the case. Later in the day, her auto was seen on video leaving Gate 1, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was unclear who was driving it.

Agents believe Brown is homeless and lives at random facilities and buildings on and off the naval bases.

Her Mini Cooper was found near Ocean View in Norfolk, and her cell phone was discovered in a dumpster on Tallyho Terrace. Multiple news outlets, citing court documents, reported that Billie's trousers were found in her vehicle with dirt on them. Witnesses reported seeing a auto like Billie's parked at various locations in Charlotte near where the body was eventually found-more than 300 miles away from where she went missing.

Investigators have not revealed the exact cause of Billie's death. Investigators say they tested her body for DNA, finding two samples that matched Brown, court documents state.

He remained in custody at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center and never posted bond, although he was eligible.

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