'The pain is there, but there's joy': Funeral services held for Milwaukee mother, two daughters

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Friends, family and supporters gathered Saturday morning to celebrate the lives of a Milwaukee mother and her two young daughters.

Amarah "Jerica" Banks, 26, and her two daughters, 5-year-old Zaniya Ivery and 4-year-old Camaria Banks, were found dead last Sunday in a garage at 47th and Burleigh.

Arzel Ivery, 25, has been charged with three counts of first degree intentional homicide.

After a week filled with tears and sadness, Banks' family is looking toward the future.

"The pain is there, but there's the joy. We're coming to celebrate life today," said Antoinette Mensah, a family friend and spokesperson.

The visitation and funeral were held Saturday at Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church on North 41st Street. 

"If you walk inside the church, you'll see that the mood is filled with loving memories of all three," Mensah said. It's a celebration of life, and that's why we have gathered together."

CBS 58 spoke with Banks' neighbor who said she called 911 the night before Banks was reported missing after hearing a woman screaming, "don't kill me."

The criminal complaint does not specify if or when police responded, but the neighbor said officers came 8 or 9 hours later.

But even despite those questions, the family is choosing instead to think about Camaria, Zaniya and their talented and beautiful mother.

"(Jerica) was a violinist. She was filled with joy. She had a beautiful smile. Remember those things. Remember that she was a caring mother, a loving daughter," Mensah said.

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