Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police confirmed Saturday that a body found behind a church in north Charlotte on Friday was a missing teenager from Virginia.
Ashanti Billie, 19, was reported missing from Norfolk, Va. on Sept. 18, police said. Her body was discovered Friday morning in a yard behind East Stonewall AME Zion Church on Griers Grove Road.
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Billie worked at a Blimpie sandwich shop on a navy base in Norfolk, Va., where she was last seen driving her car the day she went missing, The Virginian-Pilot reported. Her car was found last Saturday in a neighborhood a few miles from the base, the newspaper reported.
Brandy Billie, Ashanti Billie’s mother, addressed media Saturday and thanked everyone who helped search for her daughter, while also condemning her daughter’s killer.
“To the person who decided that they wanted to take our baby away from us, away from everyone who loved her, you are a coward,” Brandy Billie said, according to TV station WAVY-TV.
Martin Culbreth, of the Norfolk FBI, said the focus of the investigation now shifts toward finding a suspect in the case.
“Now our mission is to bring justice for Ashanti, and we will be relentless in our efforts to find who did this to her,” Culbreth said in a statement. “We will not rest until the person who robbed Ashanti of her life, her promise and her future is held fully accountable under the law.”
There was a $20,000 reward from the FBI and Blimpie for information that would lead to finding Billie.
LaVendrick Smith; @LaVendrickS