Community makes plea to end domestic violence during vigil for mother, daughters found murdered

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A vigil was held Monday night for the Milwaukee woman and her two young daughters who were found murdered Sunday, Feb. 16.

The bodies of Amarah Banks, 26, Camaria Banks, 4, and Zaniya Ivery, 5, were discovered in a garage near 47th and Burleigh.

“I can’t sleep at night,” Amarah’s sister said at the vigil. “I’m always going to remember that smile."

Arzel Ivery, Zaniya’s father, is charged with aggravated battery.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales says a homicide charge is coming.

According to police, Ivery argued with Amarah two weekends ago at her home near Sherman Boulevard and Florist Avenue.

Neighbors told officers they heard “three to four large thumping sounds” that sounded like “slamming a person or head against the wall.”

They saw Amarah running barefoot outside, bleeding from her mouth, then Ivery pulling her back inside.

Someone heard Amarah yell “No, no, please don’t kill me.”

A neighbor called 911, but told CBS 58 that officers didn’t arrive until the next morning.

That day, Amarah was reported missing to police.

“I knew something wasn’t right,” her sister said. “I went over there. I banged on that door. I banged on that window.”

Ivery was tracked down in Memphis, Tennessee and helped lead police to the garage and the three bodies.

Community activists at the vigil made an impassioned plea to end domestic violence.

“We’ve got to take care of ourselves,” said Frank Nitty. “We got to check on each other. We got to make sure that when stuff happening in our community we’re going outside and saying I see you. I see what you’re doing to her.”

About 1 in 5 homicides in Milwaukee last year were related to domestic violence.

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