A Baltimore police officer has been arrested in connection with the death of his 15-year-old stepson, Dasan Jones.
According to WJZ-13, Eric Banks, Jr., 34, was detained after he agreed to let Baltimore police search his home following an argument over custody of his children with Jones’ mother. The news outlet reported that the teen’s body was found in the wall of the Banks’ home on Tuesday.
A previous report indicated that Anne Arundel County police officers arrived to investigate a domestic disturbance after Jones was found unresponsive inside the townhome when his mother came to pick him up. Paramedics attempted to save the boy’s life but failed. Jones lived in the house with Banks and two siblings.
The 15-year-old’s’ body was found in a hole in the wall that was covered. Banks allegedly told police that it was a gun safe. Upon seeing the boy’s body, cops arrested Banks. The suspect also tried to disarm a fellow cop during the arrest.
Neighbor Stephanie Castagnera told the news outlet that there hadn’t been any previous issues.
“It’s so tragic, and it’s so senseless. My heart breaks for his family and him and his friends,” she said.
The neighbor also said the teen loved the violin and football and was always willing to help other neighbors.
“Our kids would all play together,” she added.
Recalling when police made the gruesome discovery, she said, “I heard the mom crying. Instinctively, I could tell something was wrong with her child. I will never forget it.”
Banks, initially, lied to Anne Arundel County cops telling them the teen left with no belongings.
The cop is currently suspended without pay. An autopsy to determine Jones’ cause of death will follow.
The boy’s classmate Kayla Wright has launched a GoFundMe on behalf of Jones’ mother, Latrice Banks, for funeral expenses. The fundraiser is just $800 shy of its $10,000 goal.