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Mother Charged in Connection With Discovery of Four Decomposed Bodies

Thursday, January 10, 2008
Banita Jacks faces four counts of felony murder charges.

A 33-year-old mother identified as Banita Jacks has been arrested in connection with four decomposed bodies found in an apartment in the 4200 block of 6th Street, SE. The bodies are believed to be those of her children who range in age from 5 to 17.

On Wednesday, January 9, 2008, at approximately 9:50 am United States Marshals were serving an eviction notice in the 4200 block of 6th Street, Southeast. Upon their knock on the door they were met by Banita Jacks. They entered the premises and discovered the remains of four unidentified bodies. Subsequently, they summoned Metropolitan Police officers to the scene.

An official identification of the bodies has not yet been made.  The Metropolitan Police Department is working with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to identify the remains because they were found in an advanced state of decomposition. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Marie Pierre-Louis said the bodies appear to have been there for at least 15 days. One of the victims appeared to have been stabbed. The others may have been asphyxiated or poisoned.

Banita Jacks, who is scheduled to appear in DC Superior Court today, faces four counts of premeditated and felony murder charges. The charges carry a mandatory penalty of 30 years each.

Anyone who has any information about the case should call Metropolitan Police at (202) 727-9099.