MILWAUKEE (AP) — A $750,000 cash bond was set Friday for a Milwaukee man accused of strangling his girlfriend and her two young daughters.
Arzel Ivery is charged in the deaths of 26-year-old Amarah Banks, 5-year-old Zaniya Ivery and 4-year-old Camaria Banks. Their burned bodies were found Sunday in a Milwaukee garage. Ivery was arrested in Tennessee.
According to a criminal complaint, he is accused of killing his girlfriend and her daughters on Feb. 8 after a fight with Banks. He said she was upset over his decision to go to work as a security guard so soon after the Feb. 7 funeral of their son. One-year-old Arzel Ivery Jr. died from respiratory problems, according to an autopsy report.
Ivery told police he killed Banks then killed the children because he didn’t want them to live in a world without their mother, according to the complaint. He kissed Zaniya, told her “Daddy loves you” and that her mother wanted to be in heaven with her, and then he strangled her, the complaint said.
Ivery returned to the girls’ bedroom, woke up Camaria, kissed her and told her the same thing before strangling her too, according to the complaint.
He then drove to the garage of his former apartment building, dragged the bodies into a back corner and lit them on fire, the complaint said.
He drove to Memphis, Tennessee, where his father lives and where he planned to start a new life, according to the complaint.
Relatives said they had not heard from Banks since early on Feb. 8, and police opened a missing persons investigation the next day. Authorities issued an Amber Alert for her and her daughters on Feb. 15.