WASHINGTON, DC (WFSB) - A bill aimed changing the federal alert system for missing persons has passed.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal confirmed on Friday the passage of the Ashanti Alert Act in Congress.
The act creates a new federal alert system for missing or endangered adults between the ages of 18 and 64.
Before the bill, there is no alert system for missing adults. State police in Connecticut have been filing them as Silver Alerts.
Blumenthal led the legislation with Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia.
“This law will save lives. It closes a glaring gap in our present alert system. I’m proud to have worked with Sen. Mark Warner on the Ashanti Alert Act and championed its quick passage through Congress. This law will create a real-time alert system for missing adults, providing vital information to first responders and helping save lives,” said Blumenthal. “Ashanti’s family should be commended for sharing her story, and turning their grief and loss into meaningful action. Their strength and advocacy will help prevent other families from going through similar tragedies.”
The law is named after Ashanti Billie, who was 19 years old when she was abducted in Norfolk, VA in Sept. 2017.
Her body wa found in North Carolina 11 days after she was reported missing, investigators said.
Billie's case did not fall under the guidelines of an Amber Alert and she was too young for a Silver Alert.
The new Ashanti Alert, like other alert systems, would notify the public about a missing or endangered adult.
Billie has a cousin who serves as a state representative in Connecticut.
“My family is eternally grateful to Sen. Blumenthal and everyone that worked so diligently to get the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018 through the legislative process and to the President’s desk for signing," said Rep. Pat Billie Miller, a Democrat who represents Stamford.