Suspect in NC man’s disappearance charged with murder

Suspect in NC man's disappearance charged with murder
Justin Fernando Merritt

Over the weekend, the news was announced that the body found in Pittsylvania County, Virginia has been positively identified as William Anderson Banks Jr., or as he’s known to his friends and family, Andy Banks.

As you may recall, Banks went missing in Raleigh, North Carolina last week after going to sell a vehicle through craigslist. The vehicle was found in Virginia and 34-year-old Justin Fernando Merritt had been charged with robbery, larceny of a motor vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

With the positive identification of Banks’ body, Merritt has been charged with murder and is currently being held in North Carolina without bond.

Investigators are not saying how Banks was murdered, as Raleigh Police have said that this is still an ongoing investigation.

Andy Banks

In the past 14 years that I’ve been posting about craigslist, there have been over 125 murders that the classifieds site has helped facilitate. While the odds of being murdered by someone from craigslist may be minimal, they’re never zero. If you use craigslist on a frequent basis, you could be playing Russian Roulette with your safety. It only takes that one person from craigslist to turn your life upside down.

UPDATE 12/5/2022: This past Friday, Merritt was found guilty of first degree murder and was sentenced to life without parole.

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