Adult Amber Alert: the 'Ashanti Alert'

The family of the missing Virginia Beach woman who ended up dead, is trying to create an "Ashanti Alert"

(WVEC) -- Tomorrow Eric Brown faces a federal judge for the second time after his arrest.

Now, Ashanti Billie’s parents are pushing for an Amber Alert for adults who aren't covered by current amber alerts.

Just hours after picking up Ashanti’s car from the FBI in Chesapeake, Ashanti’s parents made a stop on their way back home to Maryland.

They came to Jones' office. He is the delegate elect for the 89th district house of delegates.

“It was emotional to meet these people after seeing them on television and reading about them for several weeks, was pretty surreal,” said Jones.

Right now, there are Amber alerts are for children who are 17 years old and younger and silver alerts are for adults 65 years and older. However, there are no alerts for those, like Ashanti who fall in between the age gap.

"This is a public safety issue,” said Jones. He said,” We’d like to make it an Ashanti alert to honor Ashanti Billie to honor Ashanti.”

In a Facebook post from Brandy Billie, on the day Ashanti’s body was identified in North Carolina, She said “I whole heartedly believe that had there been some type of alert, that was able to be put out for her. She may have been coming home with us with her own free will.”

Now they have someone who will soon be in the house of delegates who’s advocating for that change.

“It’s incredibly important to me especially after meeting with the Billie family last week,” Jones said. “If you look at the missing persons website for the Virginia State Police, there is certainly a lot of folks who fall into that segment, and we want to make sure we’re protecting our citizens here in Virginia.”

If the Ashanti Alert follows through parents like Brandy and Meltony wouldn't have to wait 24 hours before filing a missing persons case.

Jones said, “I think this is a bi-partisan solution it’s a bi- partisan piece of legislation, it’s a public safety issue.”

Plans for the Ashanti Alert are in the very early stages. Jones said he cannot even pre-file a bill until mid-December, but, he's already making calls to get the Ashanti Alert into effect.

He said,” We think this might be a nice way to put a cap stone on the process and bring some closure to the family.”

Kim Wimbish is the family publicist. In a statement about the Ashanti Alert she said "We are hopeful to engage with local, state, and federal leaders to create a system that will protect all missing persons. "

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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