The FBI said new DNA evidence in the case of the kidnapping and killing Ashanti Billie is making a strong case against her accused killer.
In court testimony on Tuesday, the agency said the DNA of Eric Brown, the man accused of killing Billie, was found in several locations in her car. They said samples taken from the steering wheel, gear shift, headlight switch, and turn signal were matched to Brown, according to WAVY-TV.
The television station reported Brown waived his right to a detention hearing and will remain behind bars at Western Tidewater Regional Jail.
Billie, a student at The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, was reported missing on Sept. 18 after she failed to show up for her job at the Blimpie sandwich shop on the naval base.
Her body was found 11 days later and more than 300 miles away, outside a church in a residential neighborhood of Charlotte.
Brown told a law enforcement informant on Oct. 2, after Billie's body was found, that he hated African-American women. He said they were "gold diggers" who "only want guys with all the money," court documents said.
Witnesses reported Brown "attempting to flirt with Billie" on several occasions. One witness said he made a "crude sexual comment" to her.
About 5:40 a.m., a residential surveillance camera appears to show Billie's car stopped near a construction dumpster about 2 miles away. A man is seen getting out of the car and appears to throw something into the dumpster. Construction workers later found Billie's cellphone there and turned it over to police in Norfolk.
Five days after Billie's car was seen on camera, the vehicle was found in Norfolk on Saturday, Sept. 23. It was unlocked, and the security key fob was on the passenger seat. Billie's work shirt, a pair of dark-colored pants and a shoe were found in "the rear compartment" of the car, covered in dirt.
Six days later, on Friday, Sept. 29, Billie's partially clothed body was found behind East Stonewall AME Zion Church in Charlotte. Brown grew up near the church and went to vacation Bible school there as a child, prosecutors said.
He was arrested on unrelated trespassing charges in October, and officers questioned him about Billie's disappearance. Brown said he "blacked out" on Sept. 17, the night before Billie went missing, and had "no recollection of what he did for several days after that," prosecutors said.
A review of his cellphone showed he made multiple searches for "police looking for man" and "Norfolk police looking for man in connection to homicide."