U.S. House votes to make Ashanti Alert federal law

WASHINGTON, D.C. -The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to create a federal Ashanti Alert law.

September 25 marks one year since U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Virginia Beach) got involved in the Ashanti Billie case and announced his plans to push for a vote to take the alert national.

The Ashanti Alert was signed into Virginia law earlier in the year in honor of Ashanti Billie, a 19-year-old who was abducted from her job at JEB Little Creek last year.

At the time, Billie was too old to be considered for an AMBER Alert, which is designed for abducted children, and too young for a Silver Alert, which is for senior adults.

Billie was found dead near a church in Charlotte, North Carolina, around two weeks after her disappearance.

“Ashanti is our treasure, but we want to share our treasure with the nation,” Billie’s father, Meltony Billie said after the Ashanti Alert became law in Virginia.

Ashanti’s family says the Ashanti Alert will not only be a way to remember their daughter, but also a way to keep her greatest passion in life alive: helping others.

“It will be like a hug from her. Every alert will be a hug: ‘Hey Mom, I’m here. I’m helping people, Daddy, I’m here; I’m helping someone else.’ It was her passion,” Meltony said.

Rep. Taylor says he’s already located the money needed for a national Ashanti Alert.