Two men who were caught earlier this year with drugs, guns and thousands in counterfeit cash in Chicago are now sitting in a Louisville jail, accused of murder.
The bizarre story began with a love triangle involving the two suspects — Jeffrey Mundt and Joseph Banis — and a third man, whose identity is still being withheld by authorities.
Police say Mundt and Banis, both 38, were involved in a sexual relationship with that third man sometime late last year. But the pair hatched a scheme to rob him of drugs sometime in December and instead wound up killing him, according to Louisville police.
To hide the crime, Mundt and Banis apparently decided to put the body in a plastic tub and bury it beneath the basement of Mundt’s aging home in the historic Old Louisville neighborhood, according to police.
The man was never reported missing, so no one ever came looking for him.
Then, in April, Banis and Mundt made a trip to Chicago. They got a room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, where shortly after their arrival, Mundt handed a doorman a wet $100 bill. Skeptical, the doorman notified his bosses, the police were called, and the couple were taken into custody in the hotel lobby. A search of their room turned up about $50,000 in cash — much of it fake — knives, guns, and bottles of what’s believed to be GHB, better known as the date rape drug, according to authorities.
Banis and Mundt were arrested, and a slew of charges were thrown at them. Mundt was initially held on a $50,000 bail, and Banis’ bail was set at $200,000. After a court hearing, both posted 10 percent bond and were allowed to leave the state, the Tribune reported.
Banis and Mundt returned home to Louisville. Then, on Thursday night, police there received a 9-1-1 call.
Mundt had locked himself in a bedroom and called for help, saying Banis was trying to break into the room with a hammer to kill him. Officers arrested Banis, and while questioning him, he said something they just didn’t believe.
“You always get the, ‘I know where a body is buried,'” Homicide Lt. Barry Wilkerson told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “You’re normally on a wild goose chase. … But this time there was actually something there.”
Police listened intently to Banis’ story — that his boyfriend had killed a man six months before and buried his body in the basement — and decided to follow-up. A patch of loose soil in the earthen floor under the old home seemed strange, and after getting a warrant, they dug it up. There, shoved in a plastic tub about four feet under the ground, they found the body of a man who had been shot and stabbed multiple times.
Now, Banis and Mundt are again behind bars, both charged in the murder. So far, the victim’s identity has not been released, although police have spoken with his family, who said he often went without talking to them for long periods of time, so they never reported him missing.
Source: NBC Chicago