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'No, please don't kill me': Complaint reveals details of night mother, daughters went missing

Posted at 4:18 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 13:31:21-05

MILWAUKEE — The suspect in the deaths of a missing Milwaukee mother and her two young daughters will soon be extradited back to Wisconsin.

25-year-old Arzel Ivery appeared before a judge in Memphis on Monday morning.

26-year-old Amarah Banks, 5-year-old Zaniya Ivery and 4-year-old Cameria Banks had been missing for at least a week before investigators found their bodies in a garage near 47th and Burleigh on Sunday. Family says Ivery is Zaniya's father.

Homicide charges have not been filed for Ivery, but he does face an aggravated battery charge in Milwaukee County.

According to the criminal complaint, the last time family saw Amarah Banks and her daughters was when they dropped her off at her apartment on North Sherman Boulevard around 1:00 a.m. Feb. 8.

Shortly after, a neighbor named Velta Lee, who shares a wall with where Banks lived, said loud noises woke her up.

"And I heard like some loud thumping on my wall, and I heard a lady screaming, so I jumped up and I hear her screaming, 'No, no, help me, help me,' so i dial 911," Lee said.

The complaint goes on to say another witness saw Amarah Banks run through the parking lot to another apartment without shoes on and appeared to be bleeding from the mouth. The complaint says that witness told investigators they saw Ivery drag Banks back to the apartment.

"Then I heard her screaming some more, and the last thing she said was like, 'Please don't kill me,' and then it just got silent," Lee said.

Online calls for service, which are unoffical, show police were called out at 2 a.m. on Feb. 8, but the records show police were unable to locate the complainant. Lee said she didn't see police that night, but she saw them come later in the morning.

Milwaukee Police said Thursday that they are aware of a call for police tha tmay be related to the case, and it is being reviewed as part of the investigation.

According to the complaint, investigators went into Amarah Banks' bedroom and found a hole in the wall that appeared, "consistent with a larger object hitting the wall, such as a head."

The complaint says investigators called Ivery at one point, who said he was in Memphis and would return on Feb. 21 for a police interview. In this conversation, the complaint says Ivery told police he didn't know where Banks and the daughters were. According to the complaint he told investigators he and Banks got into an argument "because Ms. Banks blamed the defendant for the death of her son."

On Friday, Feb. 7, family held a funeral for Banks' and Ivery's one-year-old son, Zel. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner report says the boy died naturally of viral bronchitis. The report states the boy had asthma, and he got sick with a cold. The report goes on to say, "his father took him to the hospital where he was found to be pulseless on arrival."

At some point, the complaint says Ivery's father called Memphis Police, and he told investigators his son told him he, "had killed his child's mother and the two children."

MPD detectives traveled to Memphis to interview Ivery, where they say he gave them information that led to them finding the three bodies.

The family of Amarah Banks has set up a GoFundMe.

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