Amarah Banks

AMBER Alert mom found dead in garage with 2 daughters was a domestic abuse victim: Police

A Wisconsin woman and her two daughters were found deceased inside a Milwaukee garage on Sunday. They were killed intentionally, police say, and the mother was likely a victim of domestic violence.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Amarah Banks and her daughters Camaria Banks, 4, and Zaniya Banks, 5, were found deceased in a garage close to 47th and Burleigh in Milwaukee, after they disappeared around a week prior.

Amara’s mother, Valeria Skinner-Banks, told FOX6 that a family member dropped her daughter off at her Sherman Boulevard apartment on February 8 at around 1 a.m. It was the last time they saw her alive.

On February 7, Amara attended a funeral for her 1-year-old son, Arzel. When she failed to show up to brunch with her sister the following day and didn’t arrive at work on Monday, Amara’s family knew something was wrong. Last week, they contacted police, prompting authorities to issue an AMBER Alert.

The Milwaukee Police Department confirmed that Amarah’s boyfriend, Arzel Ivery, was taken into custody in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday night. When questioned, Ivery reportedly told investigators the location of Amarah and her children.

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According to Milwaukee Police Chief Alonso Morales, Banks was a domestic violence victim prior to her death. Ivery, who was initially booked on felony aggravated battery charges, will likely face upgraded charges once the autopsies are completed.

A devastating scene of sorrow. Loved ones holding each other tight this afternoon not long after learning Amarah “Jerica” Banks and her two daughters were found dead near 47 and Burleigh.Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers and they process this situation. FOX6 News Milwaukee

Posted by FOX6's Aaron Maybin on Sunday, February 16, 2020


Morales added that around one in five homicides and non-fatal shootings in Milwaukee last year were intertwined with domestic violence.

“This is a systemic problem that’s been going on for generations. We all have to look back and see how we’re going to curb domestic violence in our community,” Morales said, according to the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal.

“We must get to a point where even the thought of violating a woman or child in our city would be intolerable and getting away with it impossible. I pray that we have finally reached that point.”

Ivery is scheduled for a court appearance Monday morning, online records show.

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Amarah Banks & her children/Handout]