Just hours before the start of the new year, President Trump signed into law the Ashanti Alert Act, which will serve as a national alert system for those too old for an Amber Alert but too young for a Silver Alert.
The new law is named after Ashanti Billie who was abducted after heading to work at a Blimpie restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia, on September 18, 2017.
At 19 years old, Ashanti was too old for an Amber Alert and too young for a Silver Alert.
Ashanti was found dead near a church in Charlotte, North Carolina, around two weeks after her disappearance.
In a prepared statement, Ashanti’s father spoke fondly of her,
“If you knew Ashanti, then you knew that you had a friend. I have said often that she never met a stranger. Though it has been hard coping with her leaving me, her earthly father, I have great joy knowing that she is with her heavenly Father and one day we will see one another again. I am eternally grateful for her life—a life well lived—because through the Ashanti Alert Act lives will be saved,” Meltony said. “I thank my family for carrying me when I began to weaken, I want to thank Michael Muhammad, Kimberly Wimbish, Attorney Don Scott, Delegate Jay Jones and his team, Congressman Scott Taylor and his team, Senator Mark Warner and his team, and I dare not forget about the Hampton Roads Community, and everyone who has being praying for my family.”
Similarly, Ashanti’s mother Brandy described the legislation as being “a beacon of hope for those that have a loved one deemed as missing under questionable circumstances.”
“We are elated that this legislation has been enacted. Just because my daughter’s life was tragically cut short, that doesn’t mean that my time as a mother, her mother is over; far from it. This federal legislation, the Ashanti Alert Act, is the first step in my current journey without my daughter by my side,” Brandy said.
“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,” said Brandy Billie.
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