MILWAUKEE -- A day after the bodies of a Milwaukee mother and her young daughters were found in a garage near 47th Street and Burleigh Street, a vigil was held Monday evening, Feb. 17 at the site of the devastating discovery. The community came together to rally against domestic violence, which police and prosecutors said led to their deaths.
Nearly 100 people filled the alley as snow fell, including community members, teachers, clergy, and family to remember Amarah "Jerica" Banks, 26, Camaria Banks, 4, and Zaniya Ivery, 5 hours after Arzel Ivery, Sr., 25, Banks' boyfriend, waived extradition to Wisconsin in Tennessee.
Vigil for Jerica Banks, Camaria Banks, Zaniya Ivery
Vigil for Jerica Banks, Camaria Banks, Zaniya Ivery
"Say it again -- I stand against domestic violence," said Tracey Dent, community organizer. "Now, you said it. That means you got to own up to it."
"What our family needs is justice," said Shaquella Champion, Banks' cousin. "We're only seeking justice."
"We just lost our nephew," said Meka Smith, Banks' sister. "Now, I lost my backbone -- my sister."
"We're mothers, we're fathers, we're sisters, we're cousins, we're brothers," said Elizabeth Brown. "We're a community. Change starts with us. This is change."
Timeline of the Banks/Ivery case:
Feb. 7: A funeral was held for Banks' and Ivery's 21-month-old son, Arzel Ivery, Jr. The medical examiner said he died at the hospital on Jan. 24 following complications with asthma, which the boy had since birth. He was also sick with a cold. Surgery was scheduled for Feb. 25 to remove his tonsils and adenoids in an effort to alleviate some of the asthma issues, but unfortunately, the boy passed away before that could happen.
Amarah "Jerica" Banks, Arzel Ivery Jr., Arzel Ivery Sr.
Feb. 7/8: Jerica Banks was last seen entering her apartment after she was driven home following a post-funeral gathering. She failed to call a friend the next day to retrieve her vehicle. Feb. 8 was the last day she used her phone or Facebook, according to a criminal complaint filed against Arzel Ivery Sr.
Jerica Banks' apartment
Feb. 8: Prosecutors said Arzel Ivery Sr. told police he went to Banks' home after work and there was an argument over the death of Arzel Ivery Jr. early that Saturday. Ivery Sr. said Banks blamed him for their son's death.
Feb. 9: A friend went to Banks' home to check on Banks, and could not find her or the children.
According to the criminal complaint against Ivery, on two occasions, police entered Banks' home. The complaint did not say when the searches of the home occurred. It did say a bed was missing a comforter, there was a napkin with small droplets of blood, and a large hole in the wall.
Feb. 9: Jerica Banks and her daughters were reported missing to police.
Feb. 12: FOX6 News was contacted by concerned family members regarding the whereabouts of Banks and her daughters.
Feb. 13 (morning): Milwaukee police confirmed they were investigating the disappearance of the mother and children, and said they were not considered to be critically missing.
Feb. 13 (afternoon): Milwaukee police asked for the public's assistance locating Banks and her children.
Feb. 13: Concerned family members, including Banks' mother, spoke with FOX6 about the disappearance of the Banks and her children.
Camaria Banks and Zaniya Ivery
Feb. 14: A statewide "endangered missing person alert" was issued for Banks and her children.
Feb. 15 (morning): Milwaukee police confirmed the three were still missing -- a week after they were reported to have been last seen.
Feb. 15 (morning): FOX6 spoke again with Valeria Spinner-Banks, Jerica's mother and grandmother of the children. Very concerned, she said the disappearance was out of character for her daughter, and she feared something was wrong.
Feb. 15 (afternoon): An Amber Alert was issued for Camaria Banks and Zaniya Ivery -- stating they were believed to be missing under suspicious circumstances. The alert said they were last believed to be in the company of Arzel Ivery Sr.
Feb. 15: Arzel Ivery Sr. was taken into custody in Memphis, Tennessee after his father called police to report that Ivery Sr. came to Memphis after Arzel Ivery Jr.'s funeral, and told him he had killed his child's mother and the girls.
Arzel Ivery Sr. family home
Feb. 15: A charge of aggravated battery was filed out of Milwaukee County against Arzel Ivery Sr. Prosecutors said he caused bodily harm to Jerica on Feb. 8 after Arzel Ivery Jr.'s funeral because Banks "blamed (Arzel) for the death of their son." A neighbor told investigators the argument woke her up, and she called 911 as her roommate saw Banks running through the parking lot -- bleeding from her mouth, screaming, "No, no, please don't kill me." The criminal complaint said Arzel Ivery Sr. was interviewed "during the missing person's investigation."
Feb. 16: Milwaukee police located the bodies of Jerica Banks, Camaria Banks, and Zaniya Ivery in a garage near 47th and Burleigh. The Amber Alert was canceled.
Jerica Banks and daughters found in garage near 47th and Burleigh
Feb. 17: Arzel Ivery Sr. waived his extradition hearing in Memphis after his arrest at his family's Shelby County home -- brought in on a warrant as a fugitive of justice.
Feb. 17: The Milwaukee County medical examiner released a report regarding the death of 21-month-old Arzel Ivery Jr. The report stated Ivery Sr. took the boy to the hospital unresponsive after breathing issues on Jan. 24 compounded by the boy being sick with a cold. The baby did not have a pulse when he arrived after 3:30 p.m. -- and was pronounced dead in the ER. According to the report, the baby was "too sick" for day care that morning, and wouldn't wake up from a nap that afternoon.
Feb. 17: FOX6 News obtained the criminal complaint charging Ivery Sr. with aggravated battery.