Sister: Possible break in Elizabeth Banister murder case from 2000

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The sister of a woman murdered in Evansville more than two decades ago says a break in the case is ‘close.’

Elizabeth Banister was found stabbed to death inside her Washington Avenue apartment in January 2000.

More than 20 years later and Elizabeth’s sister, Sara Stewart who was just 14 years old at the time, says she needs closure now more than ever.

“Elizabeth was a great person and she had a huge heart, she loved everyone,” Sara said. “She would help everyone before she would help herself, she didn’t deserve what she had done to her, I mean nobody does but she didn’t deserve that.”

Sara has been active on social media – creating a Facebook page and working to bring justice for her sister and some peace of mind, something she says the Evansville Police Department hasn’t given her.

“Do I think (Evansville Police) were doing their job then, no, looking back absolutely not,” Sara said. “I’ll say this a million times, her death matters like anyone else’s. I’m calling, I’m leaving messages, nobody is responding to me, nobody is calling me back, I feel like nobody is acknowledging the fact I’m trying to get something done here, the lady at the window was like ‘who is your detective?’ and I’m like ‘I don’t know, I don’t know.'”

Sara says she hasn’t heard from a detective since September of 2019 – but now, she says there may be a potential break in the case.

“I got a phone call and there is a possible suspect that can close this case,” Sara said.

She says according to a private investigator the suspect is a known serial killer and currently in prison. Sara says the thought of closure also brings more sadness.

“I think it just makes you relive it all over again, and it’s a heavy weight back on your shoulders,” Sara said,

After more than two decades – a family hopeful for justice – something that could be here sooner than later.

“This may be the break we needed and this person truly was the one who did it and I am able to kind of do what I promised (Elizabeth) I would do…never give up,” Sara said.

Evansville Police Department Detective Aaron McCormick says the office is aware of the potential suspect but they are still gathering more details and information.

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(This story was originally published on July 20, 2020)

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