Volunteers find hair braids, clothing in search for missing Md. woman

Ashanti Billie was last seen on Sept. 18, 2017. The FBI released a recent driver's license photo during the search. She was later found dead in North Carolina. (Courtesy FBI Norfolk)

WASHINGTON — Volunteer searchers found possible clues in the disappearance of a 19-year-old woman from Prince George’s County, who went missing in Norfolk almost two weeks ago.

Ashanti Billie, who graduated high school in Maryland, moved to Virginia Beach to study culinary arts.

Ashanti Billie has been missing since Sept. 18, 2017. The FBI has released a recent driver’s license photo. (Courtesy FBI Norfolk)

She was last seen Sept. 18, as she drove onto Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek — Fort Story, where she works at a Blimpie sub shop.

A body was located in Charlotte, North Carolina, Friday, Kimberly Wimbish — a Billie family publicist — told the Virginian Pilot. But the FBI said in a statement that there is no positive identification at this time.

The FBI in Norfolk said Billie never showed up for work, and missed her scheduled college classes.

Surveillance video showed Billie’s Mini Cooper leave the base, although it is unclear if she was in the car. Her cellphone was found later that day in a dumpster in Norfolk, less than three miles from the base gate.

On Sept. 23 her car was found in a Norfolk neighborhood, five miles from the base.

On Thursday, friends and family of Billie found potential clues as they searched near the dumpster.

Volunteers found hair braids and a piece of clothing, which have been turned over to investigators.

The FBI, which is leading the investigation, released a recent photo of Billie, from her driver’s license, showing her with braids — some of them dyed.

On Wednesday, Blimpie added $10,000 to the FBI’s $10,000 reward fund, for information about Billie.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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