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Bond set at $2 million for Danville man charged with sealing car of missing NC man

William “Andy” Banks hasn’t been since Saturday

DANVILLE, Va. – Authorities are now investigating the case of a missing North Carolina man whose car was found in Danville as a homicide.

While no charges have been filed in connection with the homicide, Justin Merritt, 34, faces multiple charges in connection with stealing the car of William “Andy” Banks.

Merritt was in court Wednesday, where no new charges were added against him, but his bond was set at $2 million.

During the hearing in Raleigh, the state asked for stricter release restrictions.

Merritt will next be in court on Oct. 7

William Banks was last seen on Sept. 12, 2020.
William Banks was last seen on Sept. 12, 2020. (Raleigh Police Department)

UPDATE

The case of this North Carolina missing man is now being investigated as a homicide, according to Raleigh Police.

Police say foul play is suspected in this case and no charges have been filed at this time.


UPDATE

The man suspected of stealing an SUV that belongs to a missing North Carolina man is expected to appear in court on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Raleigh Police Department, Justin Merritt, 34, was arrested in Danville on Monday and charged with robbery, larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and threatening the use of a firearm to wit in connection to the stolen range rover that was found.

Authorities say he is in custody in Wake County, North Carolina on a $265,000 bond.

The stolen car reportedly belongs to William “Andy” Banks of Raleigh, who was reported missing Saturday afternoon. Authorities say Banks is still missing but that his car was found Monday.

Police say that Banks' life was threatened and endangered by Merritt.


ORIGINAL STORY

The case of a missing Raleigh man has crossed state lines, moving into our area.

Danville Police are now involved after the Range Rover that William “Andy” Banks was meeting someone to sell at a shopping center in Raleigh was found abandoned in Danville.

The discovery in Danville is one of the few clues police have, based on what they’ve shared publicly. The Danville Police Department is an assisting agency in the case and unable to provide specifics.

Banks' family is desperate to bring him home now after more than two days missing. They sat down with our news partner WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina, Monday sharing what makes him the Andy they love.

“He never meets a stranger and he really has a way with people that they gravitate toward him and they want to be around him," said Andy Banks' sister, Dede Banks Smith.

A Raleigh Police Union Facebook page shared a missing persons poster showing Andy and a picture of the Range Rover he was meeting someone to sell. His friends called police Saturday to report him missing after hours of trying to reach him.

“He was going to sell his vehicle at 2 p.m. in the Cameron Village area at the K&W parking lot and I can see on his text messages that he last checked his phone at 1:42 p.m., so that would have been right before two o’clock," the caller said in a 911 call provided by Raleigh Police.

The case broke Monday when police recovered the car somewhere in Danville, 90 minutes north of where he was supposed to be.

A friend of Banks' told WRAL the 39-year-old regularly sells cars on the side, this deal arranged on Craigslist, and clearly something is wrong.

“I don’t know what the definition of missing is, but he would never go six or seven hours without responding to me," the 911 caller said.

Banks is about six feet tall and was last seen in shorts and a shirt with mountains on it. His family holds out hope someone will say something.

“We look forward to seeing you I miss you and we’re gonna do everything we can to bring you home," said Andy Banks' brother Mark Banks.

The case continues to draw attention on social media. With that comes a lot of speculation, but Banks' family is asking people to stick to the facts, stay positive and continue sharing his story.


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