By Cynthia Caron
Victor Brian Banks, Jr., age 26, known as Brian Banks, was in a car accident on August 6, 2011 Takoma Park, MD. He was brought to Washington Adventist Hospital and fled the hospital the following morning on August 7, 2011. The reason he left the hospital to this date is "unknown." Brian did suffer with some depression but was not a troubled young man…fact is, he was a good son with many friends and was in the process of moving from Ohio to be near his mom in College Park, Maryland. When his mother, Denise Banks, could not reach or find Brian she filed a missing police report. Nobody knows what transpired from that point, however, it is felt that Brian was not given a proper "missing person" search because of being an adult missing male. For six months the organization, LostNMissing Inc, posted on nearly every social media site virtually possible in the search for Brian, as well as submitting his information to other organizations and entered his missing status into NamUs. (www.namus.gov)
NamUs is the National Organization for Missing and Unidentified. The purpose for the national data bank is to hold all missing and unidentified in the United States with the hopes that those unidentified can have their names and families contacted for proper burials. LostNMissing's NamUs Coordinator, Billie Lynnell Cox, entered Victor Brian Banks, Jr. in the NamUs system on October 21, 2011 shortly after learning of his missing status. In the meantime, his mother was desperately searching for her son only to hear "adults have the right to go missing if they choose." Ms. Banks stated "I know my son. He never would have up and left without letting me know of his every whereabouts." She expressed this same comment over and again to police agencies from Maryland to Toledo, Ohio.
Brian's mother learned that the Prince George County Police Department had his car impounded from the auto accident and told her they sent a letter at her College Park Address and sent one to Briain's home address in Toledo, Ohio. Neither letter was ever received. Because the police stated they had the "letter in the file" they had Brian's automobile destroyed at a towing company in Laurel, MD. To add further complications, Ms. Banks asked where her son's belongings were and was told by the PGCPD and towing company that "They did not have any of my son's belongings", stated Ms. Banks. Further, on September 15, 2011 and January 23, 2012 she was told that there "were no accidents on record for Victor Brian Banks." Frustrated, and saddened, Ms. Banks continued to push to get her needed answers.
On February 1, 2012 Ms. Banks learned of her son's fate. Authorities explained that on the very day that he fled the hospital his body was located without any identification on his person. Brian was brought to the Baltimore City Morgue, which is a beautiful newly built state-of-the-art facility. His autopsy was performed and due to no physical trauma he was preserved within the facility to await identification. He was listed at the morgue as "John Doe." However, even that status fell through the cracks of the system. Especially to be noted is that Brian had, on his right arm, his own mother's name tattooed. It read "God bless Denise M. Banks" with a cross. The very same identifying characteristic that was placed on all of his missing posters. The very same name on nearly every police call and visit made by Ms. Banks. Had the release of a John Doe with the identifying tattoo was released to the public, he could have been named and his mother saved from months of heartache in the roller coaster ride of trying to find a missing child. Her child.
Cynthia Caron, President and Founder of LostNMissing said " Had Brian been entered by the Medical Examiner's office into NamUs as unidentified, there is a good chance that he would have matched to his missing case on NamUs." She further added, "It is our hopes that all Medical Examiner's in the country learn of NamUs and the potential it has to not only hold missing loved ones, but more importantly, to bring loved ones back to their families who are left in morgues across the country as John and Jane Does." In Brian's case, remarkably he was very well preserved and the possibility exists that a public viewing may be possible.
A mother now grieves the loss of her only child, her beautiful Brian. She gains strength in knowing that he is in God's heaven with his loved Grandmother and those who've passed before him. She vows to spend her free time towards educating police and medical examiners of the NamUs system and helping others who have missing loved ones. As Ms. Banks explained, "There is no such thing that an adult has the right to go missing and for the police to not take interest, after all…that adult IS somebody's child."
Services and a Celebration of Life is in the planning stages and will be held on February 18, 2012 in Scottsville, Virginia. Location and times to be announced.
FACEBOOK: " In memory of Brian Banks"