‘Ashanti Alert’ bill passes Virginia Senate, heads to Gov. Northam’s desk

Ashanti Billie

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Senate passed the bill Thursday created in honor and recognition of Ashanti Billie and those who have gone missing under similar circumstances.

Known as the “Ashanti Alert Act,” the bill would act as an AMBER Alert type of system to help local and regional law enforcement efforts in finding people who are between the ages of 19 and 65.

The bill was passed unanimously with a vote of 40-0. It now heads to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk as it awaits his signature.

“As spokesperson for the Ashanti Billie family, we are elated to hear this amazing news today,” said family spokesperson Kimberly Wimbish.

Like the AMBER Alert, the bill would allow for law enforcement to more easily use media outlets such as commercial radio stations, television stations, and cable television – to broadcast information about missing persons. The law enforcement agency that is investigating the case would have the authority and decision to make the alert.

It was introduced by Delegate Jerrauld “Jay” Jones.

The bill unanimously passed the Senate courts of Justice Committee Monday.