29-year-old Hazel Ivy was charged with two counts of First-Degree-Murder of her 7 year old daughter Willow Banks who was found stabbed multiple times 1567 McKnight Street, Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois on Sunday, January 24, 2021.
First responders went to their residence after it was reported that Hazel sent a picture of Willow's body to someone she knew about 3:30 a.m. When they reached the residence, Hazel opened the door to their second floor apartment and said 'she's upstairs'.
A serrated knife was recovered in Willow's bedroom. Blood was found on her bed, and the hallway floor from Willows bedroom to Hazel's.
The autopsy revealed her death was caused by strangulation and blunt force trauma with about 24 stab wounds to her face and upper body. Willow's body also revealed older injuries prior to her death.
Hazel entered a plea of not guilty. The Knox County State Prosecutor stated 'multiple wounds on her face were evidence of torture' and is seeking a life sentenced. DCFS removed Willow's sibling out of the house.
It should be noted that Willow was not registered at a school.
Community members joined Willow's family and loved ones together for a balloon launch on McKnight Street in Galesburg.
Charges for Case # 21-CF-0034
People vs IVY, HAZEL L :
(Charge) Count: 1 Filed 0 Statute:  MURDER/INTENT TO KILL/INJURE, Murder Source: City of Galesburg
(Charge) Count: 2 Filed 0 Statute:  MURDER/INTENT TO KILL/INJURE, Murder
On September 29, 2022, the mother pleaded guilty (but mentally ill) and was sentenced to 53 years. She is not listed in the Illinois Department of Corrections as of today. She is to serve 100% of her sentence.
We pray for Willow's family that do love her, to have some form of peace.
Thank you to the Investigators, assisting agencies and the State Attorney's Office for doing what it takes to bring some form of justice to Willow and her family.
Rest in Peace dear Willow.
Willow N. Banks
Galesburg - Willow Nevaeh Banks, born June 25, 2013, went into the arms of the Good Shepherd on January 24, 2021.
Willow was a lively, out-going child, who's smile was contagious. She loved to sing and dance, a happy girl ready for anything! Willow touched the hearts of many with her joy of life. We cherish our many memories as the brief gifts they were. Willow was survived by parents Hazel Ivy and Willie Banks, sister, Destiney Lee Jones and the Don Yost family.
A memorial service was held on March 6th to remember and celebrate her life. "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." Isaiah 40:11.