Report: 21-month-old son of Jerica Banks, Arzel Ivery died following asthma complications
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County medical examiner on Monday, Feb. 17 released a report on the death of Arzel Ivery Jr., who was 21 months old, and the son of Amarah “Jerica” Banks and Arzel Ivery Sr. Jerica Banks and her two daughters, Camaria Banks, 4, and Zaniya Ivery, 5 were found dead in a garage near 47th Street and Burleigh Street Sunday, Feb. 16, one day after an Amber Alert was issued for the three.
The medical examiner’s report said Ivery Jr. had a history of asthma since birth, treated with nebulizers/albuterol, and wheezing and gasping symptoms were worsening over the week or two preceding his death on Jan. 24. He was also sick with a cold. He died in the emergency room after he arrived unresponsive — transported to the hospital by Ivery Sr. The report noted he had a Feb. 25 surgery scheduled to remove his tonsils and adenoids in an effort to alleviate some of the asthma issues.
The cause of death was determined to be viral bronchitis and bronchiolitis, with the manner of death ruled accidental in the report.
The report said Ivery Sr. had been staying at Jerica’s home, with whom he shared two children, including the baby, because his was “recently” destroyed in a fire. He also sometimes stayed there because it was closer to Ivery Jr.’s day care. The report said when he was working, the children would go to day care, but when he was not, “he wanted to be the main caregiver for the three children.” The report said “he did not feel comfortable having a baby sitter come to the residence because of concern for the safety of the female children.”
The morning Ivery Jr. died, Ivery Sr. was caring for the children while Jerica was at work. The report said Ivery Jr. was rejected from day care around 9 a.m. that day because he was “too sick.” Ivery Sr. then took the baby to work to let them know he couldn’t work because his child was sick. He then tried to get some food for the baby, but the baby wouldn’t eat. He also tried giving him medication, but he would not take it, the report said. He said they ran errands, arriving back at Jerica’s around noon, where the child slept on and off through the afternoon — the report indicating Ivery Sr. said the child’s wheezing and gasping was worse than when he was awake, but he wanted to let him rest because he didn’t seem to feel well. He said around 3 p.m., he tried waking the baby up from a nap, but the child wouldn’t wake up.
Ivery Sr. then said he woke the child, got him ready to go pick up the other children, and noticed the boy was making “slow gasping” sounds. They arrived around 3:30 p.m., and the report said the principal told Ivery Sr. the child looked worse and he should get him to the hospital. The report said Ivery Sr. stopped to get snacks for the girls and then went to the hospital, where a nurse assessed the child and found he had no pulse.
According to the report, Jerica told investigators at the hospital she had no concerns about Ivery Sr.’s care of the children, and there was no violence in the home.
Ivery Sr. made his initial appearance in Memphis, Tennessee court Monday, Feb. 17 after his Saturday arrest — suspected of killing Jerica, Camaria, and Zaniya.
Ivery Sr. was charged out of Milwaukee County with felony aggravated battery, filed Saturday. He was taken into custody in Tennessee on a fugitive warrant.
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said Jerica Banks was reported missing to MPD by family on Feb. 9. It was later determined her children were also missing. Jerica’s mother, Valeria Spinner-Banks said the last time she saw the three was Feb. 7, was after a funeral for Ivery Jr. Jerica was dropped off at home with the kids — and disappeared.
On Saturday, MPD was notified by police in Memphis, Tennessee that they had contact with Ivery Sr. FOX6’s sister station in Memphis WHBQ reported Ivery was arrested in Tennessee after a family member stated Ivery came home talking about an incident in Milwaukee.
MPD detectives went to Tennessee and spoke to Ivery. Chief Morales said Ivery provided information that brought investigators to the garage at Ivery’s apartment building near 47th and Burleigh Sunday, where they discovered the three bodies.