A Baltimore police officer has been charged with murder in the death of his 15-year-old stepson, whose body was found hidden in a crawlspace, according to Yahoo News.
Eric Banks Jr., 34, was initially arrested on charges for assault on a police officer and trying to disarm a police officer, Anne Arundel County authorities reported.
Charges of first-degree and second-degree murder, as well as child abuse resulting in death were later added.
According to court records, Banks is being held without bail. The murder charges relate to the found of his stepson, Dasan Jones.
Jones’ body was found last week during a search of Banks’ home after Jones’ mother contacted police and reported her son missing.
The mother, who is married to Banks, told police that she believed her son was being held against his will, according to Yahoo News.
Authorities said Wednesday that officers went to the Banks residence and questioned him. Banks told police that Jones had left and did not bring any belongings with him.
According to Anne Arundel police, officers then checked the home and found Jones in a crawlspace in an upstairs’ attic. Police found bloody clothes hidden in a dresser drawer.
“This is absolutely a heartbreaking, traumatic and horrific case,” Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad told reporters. “This was a young man with a bright future yet his life…was tragically taken.”
According to NBC News, after Banks was placed in handcuffs, he tried to grab an officer’s gun, police said. Awad told NBC News that it took several officers to get Banks into custody.
During the altercation, Banks allegedly told officers “my life is over”, and asked an officer to choke him, according to a police report.
NBC News reported that a medical examiner ruled Jones’ cause of death a homicide by asphyxiation.
Baltimore police told WTOP News that Banks has been with the department since 2018 and was already suspended for an undisclosed reason.
A police spokesperson said in a statement that they could not give specific details because an internal affairs investigation is ongoing.