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Navy Veteran Eric Brian Brown Charged With Teen's Murder.

A United States Navy veteran was charged with this week in connection with a missing Virginia teenager. Eric Brian Brown, 45, was charged Wednesday with kidnapping and murdering 19-year-old Ashanti Billie, according to ( WVEC-TV.

( Billie , a student at the Art Institute of Virginia Beach, was last seen in September at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek Fort Story in Virginia where she worked at a Blimpie's. Her battered body was later found more than 300 miles away, in North Carolina, close to Brown's childhood home.

Brown, who left the Navy in 2011 after 20 years, was described by authorities as homeless and was reportedly living at "random facilities and buildings on and off naval bases," including the one where Billie worked. Witnesses recalled seeing him attempt to flirt with Billie and making at least one crude sexual comment to her. Billie's coworkers said he visited the establishment so often, they thought he worked at the laundromat next door. He reportedly stopped coming to the Blimpie's after Billie vanished, they said.

Brown's arrest came after a review of surveillance footage by authorities. A portion of the footage obtained by WVEC showed a man getting out of Billie's car and tossing an item in a dumpster, later determined to be her phone. A construction worker contacted the FBI and said he believed the man in the video was Brown.

"Information and evidence gathered in collaboration with the FBI Norfolk, Norfolk PD, Virginia Beach PD, NCIS, U.S. Attorney's Office and FBI Charlotte during this investigation led detectives in confirming Brown as the suspect in this case," the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department said, according to ( WTKR.

Upon questioning by authorities, Brown told them he blacked out at the time of Billie's disappearance and could not remember if he did anything to her. FBI agents also had DNA and cellphone evidence linking Brown to the crime, the ( Virginian-Pilot reported. Brown reportedly conducted internet searches on his phone including the phrases "police looking for man," "Norfolk police looking for man in connection with homicide" and "missing woman and man," among others.

Should Brown be convicted, he could face life in prison.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:1U5VA
Date:Nov 9, 2017
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