Wisconsin mother, two daughters found dead after Amber Alert issued; boyfriend arrested

Jordyn Noennig and Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Police investigate three bodies found in a garage in the 4700 block of West Burleigh Street in Milwaukee. Here they work in an alley near dumpsters behind a building.

MILWAUKEE – A mother and two daughters who were the subjects of an Amber Alert were found dead Sunday afternoon, the victims of an apparent homicide, police said.

Amarah J. Banks, 26; Zaniya R. Ivery, 5; and Camaria Banks, 4, were found in a garage, Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said at a news conference. 

They were discovered after the arrest of Banks' boyfriend Arzel J. Ivery, 25, in Memphis, Tennessee. One count of felony aggravated battery was filed against him Saturday in Milwaukee County, according to online court records.

Ivery is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning in Tennessee on a fugitive from justice warrant.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office was called to the scene Sunday. Autopsies were scheduled for Monday. 

Zaniya R. Ivery, 5, and Camaria Banks, 4, were found dead Sunday along with their mother, Amarah Banks.

Morales noted that last year roughly one in five non-fatal shootings and homicides involved domestic violence, though he did not specifically say Banks was a victim of 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," said Morales.

"As you see, people will blame the police department regarding these deaths. That's unfair, uncalled for and unwarranted."

Banks and her two daughters were last seen about 1 a.m. local time on Feb. 8. Banks buried her infant son on Feb. 7, who died from health complications, WISN 12 News reported. 

The next day, Banks was reported missing by her family to the Milwaukee Police Department.

A week later, on Saturday around 2:30 a.m. local time, Memphis authorities contacted Milwaukee police to tell them they had made contact with Ivery and were directed to the garage where the bodies were found.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales, second from right, works with investigating officers on the scene where three bodies were found. The investigation seemed to center on an alley behind a building in the 4700 block of West Burleigh Street.

Police did not say who owned the property where the bodies were discovered nor reveal the cause of death.

Around noon on Saturday police issued an Amber Alert for the mom and her daughters. Morales defended the fact the alert wasn't issued until a week after they were first reported missing. 

"There is criteria that goes for an Amber Alert for us to issue that," Morales said. "You have to understand that foul play was not an initial part of this investigation."  

Police close off the streets as they investigate three bodies found Sunday in the 4700 block of West Burleigh Street in Milwaukee.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at (800) 799-7233.

Sophie Carson of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee: Milwaukee Amber Alert: Amarah Banks, daughters found dead; arrest made