Authorities say they’ve solved the kidnapping and murder of a Virginia Beach woman whose body was found in September outside a north Charlotte church.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Norfolk said in a release Wednesday that Eric Brian Brown, 45, was arrested for the kidnapping of Ashanti Billie, 19. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police issued a release late Wednesday afternoon announcing that Brown has also been charged with murder in the case.
Billie was reported missing after she didn’t arrive for work at a Blimpie’s restaurant at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Norfolk on September 18. Her body was found September 29 in a wooded area behind East Stonewall AME Zion Church on Grier’s Grove Road, off Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte.
Court documents cited by federal prosecutors say Brown spent 21 years in the Navy and was reportedly seen frequently at the restaurant where Billie worked. Authorities say the church where her body was found is about 300 yards from Brown’s childhood home.
Neither the U.S. Attorney's office nor CMPD stated in their releases where or how investigators believe Ashanti was killed.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s release, investigators reviewed Brown’s wireless internet usage data, and entry logs for the military base. Federal agents interviewed Brown in late October and according to the release, Brown stated that he was on the base the day before Billie disappeared. But Brown told agents he blacked out and had no recollection of his actions for several days after that, the release said.