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Victim identified, suspect named in Eau Claire County homicide investigation

A 46-year-old man was found dead in a ditch north of Foster in Eau Claire County on Thursday, June 16.
Philip R. Novak
Philip R. Novak(Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 1:24 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 1:25 PM EDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The victim in a homicide investigation as well as a suspect in the case have been identified by the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim is 46-year-old Eddie L. Banks, who died of an apparent gunshot wound and was found dead in a ditch on Mallard Road north of Foster and east of the St. Raymond Parish church in the town of Clear Creek Thursday morning.

The Sheriff’s Office named 36-year-old Philip R. Novak as a suspect in the case. Novak is believed to have left the area, with the latest information suggesting that he may be in northern Wisconsin or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are attempting to find Novak.

Anyone with information is asked to call the non-emergency number for the Sheriff’s Office at 715-839-4709. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Eau Claire County Crimestoppers at 715-874-TIPS or online at eauclairecountycrimestoppers.org.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, a report was called in around 11:03 a.m. Thursday, June 16 from someone who saw a body in the ditch on Mallard Road. Deputies said Thursday that based on the evidence at the scene, it appeared to be a targeted and isolated incident and that there is no reason to believe the public is in danger. The Sheriff’s Office said that if you’ve been in that area recently to call them with information.

Eddie Banks
Eddie Banks(COURTESY:EDDIE BANKS FAMILY)

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