Longtime readers may remember that on this day seven years ago, my cousin Marizela (“Em Em) Perez went missing near her college campus at the University of Washington in Seattle. The shock and horror never wear off.
The investigation is at a standstill. But our Find Marizela website is still up.
Someone somewhere might remember something or see something that could provide clues.
So I’m reposting Marizela’s missing person flyer:
And videos of her last known whereabouts:
The abduction and slaying of a 19-year-old Norfolk woman prompted General Assembly approval of legislation to create an Amber Alert-like system for “critically missing” adults.
The “Ashanti Alert” called for in HB 260, sponsored by Del. Jerrauld Jones, D-Norfolk, was approved by the Senate on Thursday and now awaits the signature of Gov. Ralph Northam to become law.
Ashanti Billie was abducted in 2017 from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, where she worked at a sandwich shop, and later found dead in Charlotte, North Carolina. Because Billie was an adult, she didn’t meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.
“Once Ashanti went missing, we became more aware of other situations where something like this had happened but there was no mechanism in place,” said Jones, who represents the 89th House District, where Billie lived. “This is a public safety issue, not a partisan issue.”