NEWARK, NJ – A Newark woman died from getting a maggot infested weave sewn into her hair. According to authorities, Banks’ died from an infestation of maggots in her head.
Sharonda Banks, 23, of Newark was found dead in her apartment on the 200 block of S. 17th Street. According to reports, Banks had visited Princess Fatima African Hair Braiding salon on Springfield Avenue three days prior to get her hair done. Banks frequently used the hair salon for years without any prior incidents.
Jackie Thompson, a neighbor of Banks, stated “I called Sharonda around 3 p.m. to have her kids come over to play with my kids. She didn’t answer her phone but I saw her car outside. I decided to walk next door to see if she was home. When I got to the front porch, I heard her kids crying. I banged on the door but no one answered. I rung the bell to the 2nd floor neighbor’s house. They came downstairs and opened the front door for me. When I got inside the hallway, it smelled like something had died. That’s when I called the police to see what was going on.”
Newark Police responded to Banks’ resident to discover her lifeless body in the living room. According to Detective Gonzales, “I found Ms. Banks laying on the sofa in her living room. Her five children were sitting around her crying. I noticed worm like insects crawling on her head, face and nose. As I got closer, I saw that they were maggots on her head and face.”
Bob Cunningham, from the Essex County Coroner’s Office, responded to the scene to examine Banks’ body. According to Cunningham, “We thought the maggots found on Banks’ body were from the initial stages of decomposition but after a closer look, we found that there were eggs embedded into the weave on Ms. Banks’ head. The weave appeared to be sewn into her scalp which gave the eggs access to Banks’ skin layers. A thorough autopsy is necessary but from what we have found at the scene, Banks’ cause of death was an infestation of maggots into her head.”
Additional reports indicated that the eggs hatched from within her head and ate away at parts of her brain which caused Banks to go unconscious. The maggots then slowly crawled from any hole available on Banks’ face. The maggots had crawls from her eyes, nose, ears, and had begin to come from her mouth.
The children were placed with their grandmother until the case is completed.