WASHINGTON - Investigators are still trying to figure out what happened to Ashanti Billie, a 19-year-old Maryland native whose body was found last week in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Billie graduated from Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Prince George’s County and then moved to Virginia Beach for culinary school.
She vanished after heading to work at a sandwich shop on a military base in Norfolk. Surveillance video captured Billie’s car coming and going on Sept. 18. from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek where she worked.
Her cellphone was eventually found in a trash dumpster. Several days later, her car was found abandoned about 12 miles from the base.
Her parents rushed to Virginia Beach and used social media hoping to get new clues about their daughter’s whereabouts.
Last Friday, Billie’s parents received the news they feared – a body had been found by a groundskeeper who had been working behind a church in Charlotte. One day later, it was confirmed that the human remains were positively identified as Billie.'
“To the person or persons that decided they wanted to take our baby away from us and away from everyone that loved her, you’re a coward,” said Ashanti’s mother after the devastating news was confirmed last weekend. “You don't deserve to breathe the air that she breathed at all.”
Ashanti’s parents, Brandy and Meltony Billie, joined us on FOX 5 News on Friday to let us know how they were doing and what they know about the ongoing investigation into their daughter’s death.
“We are maintaining,” said Brandy. “We know that she is in a better place right now, and together we are just maintaining, just trying to move forward.”
The FBI told FOX 5 on Friday that they are still working on the investigation, but they do not have any new information to release on the case.
“They are working diligently,” Brandy said. “They are still working on the case. More tips are still coming in. More now since everything has occurred and they still have 100 percent, 200 percent from the FBI and all of the other task forces – the NCIS and the local Norfolk and Virginia Beach Police Departments as well.”
However, the parents said they have not been informed of any suspect in the case so far. But when we asked them who they believe may have killed their daughter, Ashanti’s mother said, “I honestly believe it may be someone she has come in contact with just simply from passing. Maybe they came into her job or passed her at a gas station. I think it's someone who has seen her before. I don't think she knows them, per se, but I think they have seen her, I believe.”
They said Ashanti’s body has not yet been released by authorities.
“We don't even know the method or what is actually on the death certificate yet,” Ashanti's mother said.
When we asked what people should remember about Ashanti, her father said, “For her, a stranger could become a friend instantly. That was just her personality. You talk to her, you gravitate to her just from her bubbly personality.”
Visitation will be held for Ashanti Billie on Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, Maryland. A Home Going Service will then follow at the church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Billie’s parents said Ashanti will be buried the following Monday on Oct. 16 at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery in Cheltenham, Maryland.
Flowers can be sent to the Briscoe-Tonic Funeral Home at 2294 Old Washington Road in Waldorf, Maryland.