RICHMOND, Va. (WVEC) -- A bill created in honor of Ashanti Billie, the 19-year-old Virginia Beach woman who was kidnapped from JEB Little Creek and eventually murdered, is making its way through the General Assembly.
Delegate Jay Jones (D-89th District) drafted legislation to create the "Virginia Critically Missing Adult Alert Program," dubbed the "Ashanti Alert."
The program would notify the public about involuntarily missing adults through push alerts and billboards. The program is meant for people who are too old for an Amber Alert, but too young for a Silver Alert.
“This is forward-looking,” said Delegate Jones. “We want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to other people so that other families don’t have to experience the same pain that they did.”
Ashanti's mother, Brandy Billie, said she and her husband wanted to create change after their daughter was killed.
"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,” said Billie.
Delegate Jones said Virginia State Police would create the criteria that would qualify someone for the alert. If the bill passes, it will cost $50,000, which would allow Virginia State Police to update their computer systems to support the program.
“I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve got Democrats and Republicans that have signed on to the legislation because as I have said, this is a public safety issue, this is not a partisan issue,” said Del. Jones.
The bill passed unanimously through the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee and will go before the Appropriations Committee, Thursday.