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Retired navy officer charged with kidnapping Ashanti Billie
February 22 2018, 04:15 | Irvin Gilbert
Arrest made in investigation of Virginia teen whose body was dumped in Charlotte
Authorities said that Eric B. Brown is charged with kidnapping in relation to the case.
The 19-year-old moved to Virginia Beach in August to attend the Art Institute of Virginia Beach in Town Center - and chase her dreams of opening her own bakery.
Prosecutors say Brown worked as a day laborer and helped build the Blimpie's over the summer. Police fingerprinted the auto and found a partial print, which was consistent with the vehicle having been wiped clean of fingerprints, court documents state. The area is about 300 yards from Brown's childhood home. Her body was found more than 380 miles away, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Brown, the man charged with her kidnapping, was described as homeless and was apparently living at "random facilities and buildings on and off the naval bases", prosecutors said. Her vehicle was seen leaving the base a short time later but it was unclear if Billie was inside. Inside, agents found Billie's trousers covered in dirt and debris. Several witnesses described seeing a auto like Billie's during the week of September 18 parked at various locations in Charlotte neighborhoods near where Billie's body was found, prosecutors said.
Surveillance footage from the scene depicts someone believed to be Billie driving into the base and circling the Billie's on the morning of her disappearance. Video from a separate gate appeared to show a different person driving the vehicle off the base.
Witnesses said they saw Brown trying to flirt with Billie on several occasions.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.