A Milwaukee man has been charged for the murders of his girlfriend and their two daughters after strangling them and burning their bodies.
According to the Associated Press, 25-year-old Arzel Ivery, before killing his daughters, kissed them and told them their mother wanted them to join her in heaven. He has been charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in Milwaukee County.
The burned bodies of the victims were found in a garage by police on Sunday after they were reported missing about a week prior.
Ivery, who confessed to killing 26-year-old Amarah Banks, five-year-old Zaniya Ivery and four-year-old Camaria Banks, told investigators the incident occurred on February 8 after an argument. According to him, Banks got angry at him for deciding to go to work a day after the funeral of their one-year-old son who passed away from a respiratory illness.
He told investigators Banks inflicted a knife wound on his left wrist and told him she wanted to die after accusing him of not caring about their son’s demise. Ivery then grabbed her, hit her head against a wall twice, and went ahead to strangle her.
“He stated that Ms. Banks was not fighting him, so he figured that she wanted to die. The Defendant claimed that he was helping her die,” the complaint said, according to the Associated Press.
Justifying the strangulation of his daughters, Ivery claimed he did not want them to be motherless. After killing Banks, Ivery went to the girls’ bedroom, took 5-year-old Zaniya out, and strangled her. This was before kissing her and telling her “Daddy loves you.” He also told her Banks wanted her by her side in heaven. He then went back to the room and did the same to 4-year-old Camaria after waking her up from her sleep.
“The Defendant stated that it was his family, that he brought his kids into this world and that he can take them out if he wanted,” the complaint further stated.
In the aftermath of the triple homicide, Ivery started chopping off Banks’ body but stopped when he got to a leg bone, Associated Press further reports. He then transported the bodies to his former apartment and set them on fire around the garage area. As the bodies burned, he poured gasoline on them when he felt the fire wasn’t hot enough.
He then bolted to Memphis, Tennessee, telling detectives “he planned on starting a new life” there. His father, who stays in Memphis, however, called the police to report him after he confessed to the murders, according to FOX6Now.