Private Investigator: Agents nearing closure on Elizabeth Banister case

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – A private investigator tasked with finding answers in a murder cold case from 2000 says federal agents are nearing closure on the case.

According to the investigator, agents are currently working on securing a confession in the murder from a known serial killer.

The sister of Elizabeth Banister, Sara Stewart spoke with Eyewitness News on Monday claiming the Evansville Police Department “hasn’t done enough,” to help solve the murder. Stewart also told Eyewitness News that a break in the case was likely sooner than later.

Rebecca Sweat, another sister of Elizabeth Banister is now getting involved in the case and she says she’s ready to take action.

“I feel like me and my siblings, my family have been disrespected, someone on the inside is trying to use their authority and their power to cover something else up,” Sweat said.

The family of Banister is keeping up the pressure and they say there are still many questions.

“The police force ruled everyone out,” said Sweat. “It makes no sense at all, I don’t understand it at all. That nobody heard anything strange… so all of sudden someone goes in there and sees her stabbed multiple times, but three people were in the apartment at the time it says ‘at the time’ no one saw anyone break in, but an elderly neighbor saw an african american man flee the scene.”

The family says they are fed up with the response from The Evansville Police Department.

“I feel like they did absolutely nothing, all they did was go and talk to a couple of people who were supposedly around at the time of her death,” Sweat said. “Then what? No suspects and (EPD) rules it out two weeks later and it’s a cold case. They didn’t ask anyone about family and it’s not that hard to look up family.”

The family says they will keep up the fight for justice despite reeling from a tragic death 20 years ago. There message is to never give up.

“I just want people to know I’m not blaming, I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, but if you really look at this case and you really sit down and look at this case and take all the articles from point A to point B from beginning to end, take them and compare them, they make no sense,” Sweat said. “I just feel like they need to do more work, if not, I’m going to start stepping up with my sister and were going to start doing more.”

Evansville Police Dept. Detective Aaron McCormick, who’s in charge of the Banister case told Eyewitness News Monday that he’s aware of a potential suspect but he’s still gathering more information details.

Detective McCormick said as of Friday night no more details can be released pending additional information that needs to be gathered.

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(This story was originally published on July 24, 2020)

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