MILWAUKEE (WITI) — A mother and her two daughters were found dead in Wisconsin on Sunday a day after an Amber Alert was issued for the children.
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales confirmed that Amarah “Jerica” Banks, 26, and her daughters, Camaria Banks, 4, and Zaniya Ivery, 5, were found dead in a rear garage at a Milwaukee apartment building. The mother’s boyfriend was taken into custody in Tennessee.
Morales said Jerica Banks was reported missing by family on Feb. 9. It was later determined her children were also missing.
Jerica Banks’ mother, Valeria Spinner-Banks, said the last time she saw the three was Feb. 7, after a funeral for her Jerica Banks’ 1-year-old son, Arzel. The boy died from natural causes. Jerica Banks was dropped off at home with her children, after which she disappeared.
On Saturday, MPD was notified by police in Memphis, Tennessee, that they had contact with Jerica Banks’ boyfriend, Arzel Ivery, 25, of Milwaukee. WHBQ reported that Ivery was arrested Saturday in Tennessee after a family member said he came home talking about an incident in Milwaukee.
MPD detectives went to Tennessee and spoke to Ivery. Morales said Ivery provided information that led investigators to the garage at Ivery’s apartment building Sunday, where they discovered the three bodies.
Morales was asked why it took a week to issue the Amber Alert, and he noted that foul play wasn’t an initial piece of the investigation.
Morales said Sunday that a criminal complaint was drafted against Ivery to allow police to take him into custody in Memphis.
Online court records in Wisconsin showed a felony charge of aggravated battery was issued Saturday against Ivery out of Milwaukee County, with an arrest warrant issued. Morales said the charges could be upgraded as soon as Monday when autopsies were scheduled.