Complaint: Arzel Ivery told police he strangled mother, 2 daughters and tried to hide their bodies

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Amended charges were filed on Tuesday, Feb. 18 against Arzel Ivery, the man suspected of killing Jerica Banks and her two daughters, Camaria Banks and Zaniya Ivery. They were found dead Sunday, Feb. 16 near 47th Street and Burleigh Street.

Ivery now faces three counts of first-degree intentional homicide. He was originally charged with aggravated battery (substantial risk of great bodily harm).

According to the criminal complaint, police spoke by phone with Ivery on Feb. 7. He indicated “there was a funeral for his son that he had with Ms. Banks.” He indicated the two got into an argument “because Ms. banks blamed the defendant for the death of their son.” Ivery told police “Banks was upset and making a scene” and that he “stayed for a little bit and then left to go sleep in his truck.” The complaint says Ivery “did not know where Ms. Banks or the children were.” Ivery indicated he was out of state and that he “would come back next Friday,” Feb 21 to be interviewed by police.”

Ivery’s father contacts Memphis police

Memphis police received a call from Ivery’s father on Feb. 15. He stated that Ivery “has confessed to (Ivery’s father) that the Defendant had killed the mother of his children and his children in Milwaukee. Later, (Ivery’s father) also told Memphis detectives that the Defendant had stated that he had burned the bodies.”

Search warrant of Banks’ apartment

The complaint against Ivery says on Feb. 15, Milwaukee police obtained a search warrant to search Jerica Banks’ apartment. A trained cadaver dog was brought into the children’s bedroom — and the dog “detected an odor of decomposing human remains.” Forensic investigators also detected the “presence of human blood” inside a closet in the room. When investigators “pulled up the carpet from the closet of the children’s bedroom,” they saw a large stain, “consistent with a large bloodstain.”

Ivery’s statement to Milwaukee police

When interviewed by a Milwaukee police officer who traveled to Memphis, the complaint indicates Ivery said “things had been tense between himself and Ms. Banks since the death of their son. He stated that Ms. Banks had not wanted him around anymore because he reminded her of their son.”

The funeral for the son was on Feb. 7 — and afterward, Ivery indicated he went to work. When he went to Banks’ apartment around 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 8, the complaint said Banks “was angry that (Ivery) had gone to work and yelled at him that he did not care about the death of their son.” Ivery claimed to police that “Banked picked up a knife and stated that she did not want to live anymore.” The complaint says Banks “swung the knife at (Ivery) and got him a little to his left wrist.” The complaint says Ivery then told investigators “he then grabbed Ms. Banks and pushed her head into the wall two times.” Ivery then indicated he “strangled Ms. Banks with both hands.”

The complaint says Ivery then stated “he did not want the children…to live in a world where they did not have their mother.” He indicated he then strangled both the children.

The complaint says Ivery then tried to hide the bodies of all three by burning them.

This is a developing story.