Just hours before the start of the new year, President Trump signed the Ashanti Alert Act into law.
The new law will create a federal alert system for missing or endangered adults between the ages of 18 and 64.
"Despite the tragic loss of Ashanti Billie, with the love and support of Meltony and Brandy Billie along with the Hampton Roads community, the Ashanti Alert Act is now law of the land. In this New Year, it is my hope that this important law enforcement tool can help save countless lives," said Senator Mark Warner.
The Ashanti Alert is named for 19-year-old Ashanti Billie, who was abducted in Norfolk on September 18, 2017, and found dead in North Carolina 11 days after she was reported missing. Ashanti had been too old for an Amber Alert and was too young for a Silver Alert.
The Ashanti Alert will work like other alert systems. It will notify the public about missing and endangered adults through a national communications network to assist law enforcement in the search.
"Both of them were like, "You know, this is the best new years gift ever,'" said Congressman Taylor after getting off the phone with Ashanti's parents.
In Virginia, a statewide Ashanti Alert system was signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam in June.
Then in September, the House of Representatives unanimously passed its version of the Ashanti Alert Act, introduced by outgoing Congressman Scott Taylor.
"Ashanti's legacy is solidified as she looks down from Heaven, saving lives. We wanted to get this done by the end of the year, and it was signed with a little less than six hours to go. So proud of all who helped make this happen," said Congressman Taylor.
The bill was blocked in the Senate, but Senator Warner worked with his colleagues to modify the bill.
The modified bill passed in both chambers of Congress and headed to President Trump's desk where it was signed into law on Monday.