News Banner

For Immediate Release

April 14, 2017 Mike Powell, Acting Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal
Southern District of Iowa (515) 284-6240;
Nicholas Bonifazi, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Northern District of Iowa (319) 362-4411
USMS Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699
U.S. Marshals Arrest Accused Mississippi Carjacker in Iowa City
Iowa City, IA - A multi-state manhunt ended peacefully in Iowa City on Wednesday. A team of law enforcement officers, led by U.S. Marshals from Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, arrested an accused Mississippi carjacker without incident as he was standing outside a department store there.

Omar Christolis Bankhead, 24, was wanted by the Clinton, Miss. Police Department for allegedly carjacking a Mississippi College student at gunpoint in a campus parking garage on April 2. Security camera footage and the public’s assistance allowed police to identify Bankhead as the suspect. Police obtained a warrant for Bankhead’s arrest on April 4. By that time, however, authorities had information that Bankhead may have fled the state. The Clinton Police Department requested assistance from the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force (GCRFTF) out of Jackson, Miss. to help locate and arrest Bankhead on the outstanding warrant.

On April 6, the Moline, Ill. Police Department reported that officers had located a white 2015 KIA Optima –the same vehicle Bankhead allegedly carjacked in Mississippi. Bankhead was not located with the vehicle.

On Wednesday, the GCRFTF developed information that Bankhead was possibly staying near the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City, Iowa. The GCRFTF contacted the U.S. Marshals Southern Iowa Fugitive Task Force (SIFTF) in Des Moines. The SIFTF joined forces with the U.S. Marshals Northern Iowa Fugitive Task Force out of Cedar Rapids. Together with the Iowa City Police Department, law enforcement canvassed the area identified by sources in Mississippi. Just before 4 p.m. on Wednesday, officers observed Bankhead outside a department store located at 919 Highway 1 West in Iowa City. Officers identified Bankhead and arrested him without incident.

Bankhead was transported to the Johnson County Jail in Iowa City where he is awaiting extradition proceedings back to Mississippi.

U.S. Marshals task forces combine the efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate and arrest the most dangerous fugitives. Nationwide, U.S. Marshals task forces arrest about 400 fugitives a day on average. Law enforcement agencies participating on the U.S. Marshals Southern Iowa and Northern Iowa Fugitive Task Forces during the search for Bankhead include the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Department of Corrections 5th Judicial District Fugitive Unit, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, and Homeland Security Investigations.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency