A North Carolina man who has been missing over a week may have been found in Virginia.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Andy Banks vanished last Saturday from Raleigh, after arranging to meet someone outside the now-closed K&W Cafeteria, to sell his 2011 Range Rover. Earlier this week, authorities arrested Justin Merritt, 34, in Danville, and charged him with numerous felonies in connection with Banks’ vehicle.
Authorities found Banks’ cellphone off of Interstate 40 in Raleigh on Sunday, WRAL reports. Cellphone records indicate that the phone of the person Banks was supposed to meet was from the Danville, Virginia, area.
On Monday, police found Banks’ SUV under a tarp behind an abandoned building in Danville. According to an arrest warrant, Merritt lives a couple of houses down from the abandoned building. Police obtained a search warrant for Merritt’s home and found numerous items of evidence.
Police subsequently charged Merritt with robbery, larceny of a motor vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
On Thursday, authorities found a deceased male’s body in a rural area of Pittsylvania County, Virginia. The Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office said the body will be sent to a coroner in Roanoke for identification.
“Regardless of what state Andy is in, everybody just wants there to be an end to this part of it, to know where he is,” friend Cliff Cash told ABC 11. “That really happened pretty fast, so I think that’s pretty solid police work and I know the family feels that way.”
Merritt has not yet been charged in connection with Banks’ disappearance or possible death. He remains behind bars on a $2 million bond.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Andy Banks/Police Handout]