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Police treating case of missing NC man as homicide

No body has been found, but a suspect is in custody.
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 12:58 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - North Carolina investigators are treating the case of a missing man, whose SUV was found in Danville, as a homicide.

No body has been found, but police say William Banks hasn’t been reported seen since Saturday, in Raleigh, NC.

39-year-old William "Andy" Banks was last reported seen in Raleigh Saturday.
39-year-old William "Andy" Banks was last reported seen in Raleigh Saturday.(CBS17)

Court records obtained by WDBJ7 indicate a search warrant for the Danville home of suspect Justin Merritt asked police to search for biological evidence such as hair, fibers, blood and bodily fluids, as well as guns, cell phones, ownership of Banks’s stolen SUV, knives and clothing.

The search records indicate police seized a handgun, three cell phones, ammunition and a knife, among other items.

Mugshot of Justin Merritt
Mugshot of Justin Merritt(Danville PD)

According to court documents and CBS17, Banks, of North Carolina, arranged to sell his SUV to Merritt, then disappeared. Banks’s cell phone was later found along a road in North Carolina, and his SUV was found under a tarp on the same block as Merritt’s home in Danville.

Merritt was arrested in Danville, and has been charged so far with robbery, larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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