NORFOLK, Va. - A search took place on Thursday in the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area for a 19-year-old woman who grew up in Prince George’s County in Maryland.
It has been ten days since Ashanti Billie drove to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Norfolk on Sept. 18. Her car was last seen leaving a half hour later that day, but there has been no sign of her since then.
Billie was supposed to work at the Blimpie sandwich shop on the base, but her family said she never showed up for work and did not make it to her class at a culinary school in the Virginia Beach area.
Billie’s cell phone was later found in a dumpster, the FBI said. Several days later, her car was found abandoned in the 9500 block of Lakeside Drive in the Ocean View area of Norfolk, about 12 miles from the military base.
Searchers gathered at Azalea Gardens Road and Tallyho Terrace Thursday afternoon, the same area where Billie’s phone was found.
“We have a couple of people out doing searches in different parts of the neighborhood and we are just pretty much standing in front of where the phone was found – the dumpster,” said LaToya Carr, who helped organize the search.
“It was over like a hundred and some people that came out here today,” said searcher Kimberly Wimbish. “So far, we have just been out here searching the scene and looking and we are finding stuff.”
She said they found a sock, a braid nearby a church parking lot and a braid in a wooded area and a piece of clothing during their search. The searchers contacted and informed police about the items they located.
FOX 5 has learned that Billie’s parents met with the FBI on Thursday. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information that will help locate the 19-year-old missing woman.
Billie attended Dr. Henry Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. She graduated from the school in 2016.
Officials describe Billie as a black woman standing about 4’10” to 4’11” tall. She weighs about 135 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes. She drove a cream-colored Mini Cooper with Maryland plates 2CX-0575.
Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI's Norfolk Field Office at 757-455-0100.
The Billie family has also started using #BringAshantiHome on social media to help spread the word and a GoFundMe page has been created to help their efforts in searching for their daughter. To learn how to donate, click here.