Andy Banks Update: Body Found Believed To Be Missing Raleigh Man


A body found in Virginia is believed to be William "Andy" Banks Jr., who was reported missing in Raleigh on Saturday.

The body was recovered with assistance from the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, Raleigh Police announced Thursday via ABC 11.

The disappearance of Banks, 39, was ruled as a homicide investigation on Wednesday. The Raleigh Police Department suspects foul play was involved in the case.

Banks was reportedly last seen in the area of the upscale shopping and residential district, Cameron Village, at around 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, where he intended was meeting with a man reportedly interested in buying his 2011 Range Rover, the Chatham Star-Tribune reports.

On Tuesday, Justin Fernando Merritt, 34, was charged with robbery, larceny of motor vehicle and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection to the disappearance of Banks, ABC 11 reports. However, no charges have been filed in the homicide case as of Wednesday afternoon.

Banks' silver 2011 Range Rover was found Monday afternoon in Danvile, Virginia, one day prior to Merritt's arrest.

Amanda Finch, a friend of Banks, told the Star Tribune he was reportedly meeting with two individuals interested in purchasing his car on Craigslist prior to his disappearance.

"He met two people from Craigslist to try and sell his car," Finch told the Star-Tribune Monday. "He hasn’t been seen or heard from since."

Banks is described as being 6'0" and having blond hair. He was reportedly last seen wearing blue Patagonia shorts, a gray shirt with a picture of a mountain on the front and flip flops, according to the Star-Tribune.

Finch shared a post regarding Banks' disappearance on her Facebook page. An individual responded to the post prior to Merritt's arrest, claiming to have seen Banks' Range Rover off the U.S. 29 bypass in Blairs by a stop sign with its lights turned off, the Star-Tribune reports.

"I didn't think much of it, except that was a weird spot to leave a Range Rover," the individual posted on Facebook, the Star-Tribune reports.

Banks' cell phone was also reportedly spotted on Interstate 440 West between Raleigh and Danville, according to the Star-Tribune.

Finch told the Star-Tribune that friends described as "tech people" were able to view Banks' messages through a cloud on his laptop and found that the phone number used in the Craigslist transaction discussions was a burner phone reportedly last pinged in Danville.

Anyone with information regarding Banks' disappearance or his current location is asked to contact Raleigh Police at (919)-996-3335.

Photo: Raleigh Police Protective Association