Louisa family seeks help solving 1994 cold case

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - A Louisa family's heartache has lasted for 16 years. Now, they're hoping for new leads in a case that was never solved.

John Banks was 34-years-old the night he got on his moped, left an auto-repair shop, and crashed his bike on Route 22 in Louisa. It was February 18th, 1994. His daughter, Latoria Smith, then 13-years-old, remembers an odd feeling she had that day.

"He told us that he loved us. It was like something was going to happen," she said.

After crashing his moped, Banks was then hit by another vehicle. He died on the street, and the driver sped away...never to be caught during the past 16 years.

"Louisa is a small community, and people do talk in small communities, so somebody out there has information that will eventually lead to an arrest in this case," said Sgt. Thomas Molnar of the Virginia State Police.

Today, John Banks would be 51-years-old, and married to Virginia Smith, to whom he was engaged at the time.

"Knowing that he's not in my life anymore, and we were so close to being married. And now he's gone, and I don't have none of him now," Virginia said.

Even now, 16 years later, family members say the feelings they have are so fresh, because they never had the chance to make new memories.

"He wasn't at our graduation, he's not going to be at our first wedding, to be able to walk us down the aisle, he's not gonna be there when the grandkids are born or nothing like that…" said daughter Kendra Bates, who was too distraught to continue her thoughts.

Anyone who remembers the case and has information is asked to call Louisa County Crime solvers at 800-346-1466. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

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