Young girl killed at apartment with her parents; child was looking forward to 10th birthday party

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ST. LOUIS – Six people were murdered in the city of St. Louis this weekend. Three of them under the age of 16. The deaths bring the total number of children killed in the city this year to 14 including five this month alone. The latest victims: a 9-year old girl and her parents.

Police identified Nyla Banks, her mother Antoinette Banks, and father Gene Watson. Nyla’s family said she was looking forward to celebrating her 10th birthday Sunday. Now, her family is trying to figure out why they were murdered.

It’s heartbreak and tragedy; the lives of a family of three cut short over the weekend. On Sunday, police made the gruesome discovery inside an apartment at the Edge Lofts on 21st Street near downtown St. Louis.

Police are calling it a triple homicide.

“My household is gone. I went home the other day to an empty house,” said Marquis Banks, Nyla’s brother.

The family said Nyla just started the fourth grade at a private elementary school in the Central West End and was gearing up for a big birthday party on September 1.

“She was so kind and so sweet and when others were sad she knew how to cheer people up,” Marquis said.

Her brother said Nyla was a joyous little girl, her mother was described as sweet and loving, and her father we are told adored his children.

Police said two of the victims were shot and one was stabbed. Now police are trying to figure out what happened and why.

Police do not have a motive or any suspects at this time and police are encouraging anyone with information to contact CrimeStoppers 866-371-TIPS.

The family did not have life insurance and has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses.

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