Suspect Accused of Killing Victim with Handgun
WSIL -- It's been a busy week for detectives in Jackson County. They've worked around the clock since the body of Marsha Ann Brown was found near Makanda. Friday, formal first degree murder charges were filed.
Brandon Banks of Cape Girardeau is accused of shooting and killing Brown with a handgun. Police are confident he's the person who pulled the trigger, but the investigation is far from over.
"We were tenacious from the moment we got the call. We had a team of investigators that began working on it and we really haven't stopped since," Jackson County Lieutenant Mike O'Leary explained.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department first learned a body was found near rural Makanda early Tuesday. Investigators confirmed the victim was Brown on Wednesday and arrested the man they believe murdered her on Thursday.
"Everything paid off when we located Mr. Banks in that residence," O’Leary said.
He credits good police work and collaboration between many departments for the speedy results.
“We all have limited resources, but when we pool those resources we can accomplish a lot more in a quicker amount of time,” enthused O’Leary.
Officers arrested Banks at a home in St. Louis around 6 p.m Thursday. He's a known acquaintance of the victim, Marsha Ann Brown. Her family says she was last seen Monday night when she left her home in Cape Girardeau with Banks and two other friends.
“The time after that is the period in which we're still working,” O’Leary said.
It's not clear why Brown and Banks were in Southern Illinois, but O'Leary says the evidence suggests the murder happened in Jackson County. He couldn't elaborate on a motive or location of the murder weapon.
“It is a long process and we're at the very early stages. And again this investigation will continue probably nonstop until the time it goes to trial,” he added.
Police believe other people have information about the crime, as does Marsha Brown's family.
“Tell, tell somebody and you will set yourself free. Don’t hold it, don’t hold it. Come forward,” the victim’s sister told News 3 on Thursday.
Banks remains behind bars in Saint Louis County on $1 million bond. He appeared in court for the first time Friday. He's fighting extradition, which means it could be weeks before he's back in the area. But police say in the meantime, Banks will be held in St. Louis.
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