Police: Missing mother, daughters found dead in Milwaukee garage; man in custody

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Amarah Banks, Zaniya Ivery, Camaria Banks
Amarah Banks, Zaniya Ivery, Camaria Banks


Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales confirmed that Amarah Banks, and her daughters, Camaria Banks, and Zaniya Banks were found dead on Sunday, Feb. 16 in a garage near 47th Street and Burleigh Street — a day after an Amber Alert was issued for the children. The boyfriend of the mother was taken into custody in Tennessee.

Chief Morales said Banks was reported missing to MPD by family on Feb. 9. It was later determined her children, ages 4, and 5, were also missing.

On Saturday, Feb. 15, MPD was notified by police in Memphis, Tennessee that they had contact with Arzel Ivery, 25, of Milwaukee — Banks’ boyfriend. MPD detectives went to Tennessee and spoke to Ivery. Chief Morales said Ivery provided information that brought investigators to the garage near 47th and Burleigh Sunday, where they discovered the three bodies.

Chief Morales was asked why it took a week to issue the Amber Alert and said there’s certain criteria that must be met in order for an Amber Alert to be issued — and noted foul play wasn’t an initial piece of this investigation.

The three were reported to have been last seen Saturday, Feb. 8.

The Amber Alert was issued for the girls on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Chief Morales said Sunday a criminal complaint was drafted against Ivery to allow police to bring Ivery into custody in Memphis.

Arzel Ivery
Arzel Ivery


Online court records in Wisconsin showed a felony charge of aggravated battery was issued Saturday against Ivery out of Milwaukee County, with an arrest warrant issued.

Chief Morales, during his news conference at 47th and Burleigh, discussed domestic violence, calling it an issue in the city of Milwaukee.

The discovery of Banks and her daughters came two days after Savannah Bailey, a Milwaukee mother of two, was set on fire “by her lif-in boyfriend,” Morales said. It happened Friday morning, Feb. 14 near 8th Street and Cherry Street. Bailey suffered life-threatening injuries.

Morales noted in 2019, 20% of Milwaukee’s homicides and non-fatal shootings were the result of domestic violence, adding that something needs to be done about this problem, but it’s not just a police or prosecutorial issue.