EAU CLAIRE, WI -- The following press release and subsequent updates were submitted to DrydenWire.com from the Eau Claire Sheriff's Office regarding a wanted person for an apparent homicide in Eau Claire County.

Press Release

(Updates in order below)

On 06/16/22, at approximately 11:03am, the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a deceased individual that had been located in the ditch in the E11000 block of Mallard Rd, in the Township of Clear Creek. The individual had been located by a passerby. Upon arrival, Sheriff’s Office Detectives initiated a death investigation.

Based upon information and evidence gathered thus far there is no reason to believe the public is in danger, as this appears to have been a targeted and isolated incident.

No further information is being released at this time. Additional information, including the identity of the decedent, will be released at a later time. This remains a very active and fluid investigation.

UPDATE #1 (06/20/22)

At this time, this incident is being investigated as a homicide. The victim is a 46 year old male from the Eau Claire area. The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to follow up on a number of leads and further information will be released at a later time. There is still no reason to believe the general public is in danger as it relates to this incident.

UPDATE #2 (06/21/22)

The victim in this homicide is identified as Eddie L. Banks, age 46. The manner of death appears to be a gunshot wound.

Through evidence and interviews, the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office has identified a suspect, Philip R. Novak, age 36. See attached photo of Novak. Novak is believed to have fled the area and information received is that he may be in northern Wisconsin or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The Sheriff’s Office is actively working with multiple Local, State, and Federal agencies to locate Novak.

Anyone with information as to Novak’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Eau Claire Communications Center non-emergency line at 715-839-4972 or they can submit an anonymous tip through Eau Claire County Crime Stoppers.

UPDATE #3: (06/22/22)

At approximately midnight last night, Philip Novak was taken into custody without incident in Phillips, WI, which is located in Price County. Attached is Novak’s booking photo taken this morning.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the community for all the information and tips that came in that led to the arrest of Novak.

We would also like to thank the Officers from Phillips Police Department for their determination in apprehending Novak.

Although the primary suspect is in custody, the Sheriff’s Office is still following up on a number of leads and has additional interviews to conduct. As such, no further information will be released at this time.

*All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.*


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