The car of a missing woman — 19-year-old Ashanti Billie — was discovered Saturday in an Ocean View neighborhood, police said.
According to a Lakeside Drive resident, Billie’s 2014 cream-colored Mini Cooper had been sitting along a curb on the quiet cul-de-sac since early Monday morning – about the same time she disappeared. He said the car appeared hastily abandoned — carelessly parked, with its windows half rolled down.
Greg Castellanos said he first noticed the car when he left his house at 4 a.m. Monday. It had Maryland license plates and was parked under a street light, not far from his front door.
“I knew it wasn’t one of the neighbor’s cars – we know each other around here – so I just figured it was someone visiting.”
But he thought it was odd that the windows were open, especially as the week went on. Whoever parked it, he said, didn’t do a very good job. Instead of being snug against the curb, it was a few feet out into the narrow street.
Police descended on the neighborhood Saturday, cordoning off Lakeside Drive and several nearby streets. They knocked on doors, questioned residents and eventually towed the car away.
Billie’s family was notified by police around noon, according to Kimberly Wimbish, a family spokesperson. Wimbish said Billie’s mother became so upset she was taken to a hospital.
Billie has epilepsy. She was attending culinary school and working as an assistant manager at a Blimpie sub shop on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek.
She didn’t show up for work or classes after leaving her apartment near Town Center in Virginia Beach on Monday morning. Her cellphone was found in a dumpster in Norfolk, undamaged and fully charged.
Billie’s family and friends are holding a vigil for her at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the fountain at Town Center.