The Michigan State Police along with an FBI task force were beginning to execute search warrants Wednesday in the case of murdered teenager April Millsap, age 14. She was discovered dead close to the nature trail where she had been walking with her dog on July 24, according to police reports.
Investigators and FBI agents started serving the warrants at a house in Wales Township, which is around about 20 miles to the northeast of Armada, Michigan, the town where April lived. The media reported that the home allegedly belonged to a registered sex offender, age 66, who was convicted in 1995 of second-degree criminal sexual behavior with an individual under age 13, and fourth-degree criminal sexual behavior with an individual between the ages of 13 and 16, referring to court records.
Michigan State Police Lieutenant Mike Shaw refused to comment on the locality of the search warrant but stated that its goal was to gather evidence. He added even though there were currently no arrest warrants in the case, that investigators were “zeroing in” on a suspect. Lieutenant Shaw declared that investigators were pretty confident that they were getting close to the person who did the murder and that individual knew it as well.
Millsap’s dog apparently led a duo of joggers to her deceased body about 8:30 p.m. last Thursday. She was reportedly found around 15 to 20 feet from the woody nature trail where she had been walking, inside a drainage ditch. Police ruled her death a homicide but they have released very few specifics about how the teen died. It has been reported that there were no gunshot wounds or stab markings on her body.
April’s mother called emergency services and reported her as missing when the teen failed to come home after her nightly walk with her dog, Penny. Police detectives released a sketching of a man who was also sighted on the nature trail about the same time as April and he is wanted for questioning.
Investigators stated they have not ruled anyone out yet in April’s murder but they do not believe her family was involved in any way, stated Armada Police Chief Howard Smith. He added that the teen was out walking her dog on the trail and the animal stayed there through the commission of the crime. That means the individual mentioned above might know the dog or be very acquainted with dogs in general. He is believed to be a white male who has sandy brown hair. It is possible he has changed his appearance since the day of the crime
They also want a person who was riding a motorcycle on the nature trail last week to get in contact with them. He was seen in the area between 6:30 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. last Thursday, and was wearing a black helmet.
The Michigan State Police are asking anybody who happened to be on the trail last Thursday to get in contact with them at the Michigan State Police tip line, 877-616-4677 as soon as possible. Federal, state, county and local police departments have followed nearly 500 tips so far.
Shaw also confirmed that the police were looking into a text message that was sent from Millsap’s cell phone to her boyfriend’s phone. However he refused to reveal what the contents of the text said or state when it was sent.
The Michigan medical examiner’s office stated that it awaits the usual toxicology results and was not releasing the autopsy report at the present time. April’s funeral is scheduled for this Friday in Armada.
Repeating: the Michigan State Police along with an FBI task force were beginning to execute search warrants Wednesday in the case of murdered teen April Millsap, age 14. She was discovered dead close to the nature trail where she had been walking with her dog on July 24, according to police reports.
By Kimberly Ruble