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Updated Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 08/06/14
INFO NEEDED. The Armada Homicide Task Force is seeking the identity of the person seen in the above sketch in relation to the murder of April Millsap, 14, of Armada.
(Image courtesy of the Michigan State Police)
Police seeking info on
murder of Armada teen
by CHRIS GRAYPolice are still asking for tips connected to the murder of a 14-year-old Armada girl.
Observer Staff Writer
Search warrants are being conducted in relation to the slaying of April Millsap, one of which resulted in the arrests of individuals in Wales Township, located west of Port Huron, on July 30.
Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said a search warrant was executed for a home in Wales Township as part of the homicide investigation.
While searching the home, located on Marquette Road, law enforcement officers discovered a marijuana grow operation. James Donald Vancallis, 32, and James Bernard Vancallis, 66, of Goodells were arrested on charges of improper marijuana grow.
"So far there are no arrests linked to (April's) case," Shaw said.
The Armada Homicide Task Force said on the evening of July 24, Millsap was walking Penny, her border collie, on the Macomb Orchard Trail near the area of Fulton and Depot streets in the Village of Armada.
Around 8:20 p.m., two joggers noticed Penny on the side of the trail. When they returned to the area, they followed the dog to discover Millsap's body. Millsap was located in a drainage ditch 15 to 20 feet from the trail.
Following an autopsy, the Macomb County Medical Examiner's Office ruled her death as a homicide.
Armada Police Chief Howard Smith said no knife or gunshot wounds were on her body, but the specific cause of death has not been released. There was no evidence of sexual assault.
Rumors have circulated that Millsap sent a text message indicating she felt she was in danger the night of the incident, but Shaw said this is only speculation.
Shaw said the investigation has proceeded well, with the task force receiving about 600 tips. Unfortunately, Shaw said the Wales Township arrests have caused interest in the case to decline.
Police conducted a canvas of the area on July 31 to try and increase the public's awareness that the case is still ongoing.
"We hopefully will gain some more tips in the investigation," he said.
Police have released a sketch of a person of interest described as a tall white male. Investigators said people should be aware of possible changes to his appearance like a haircut or facial hair.
The task force is seeking information on a small motorcycle, blue and white in color, ridden by a young male rider wearing a dark helmet. Photos submitted to the investigation show him riding on the trail near the time the victim was killed.
Detectives continue to speak with Millsap's family and boyfriend, but they are not considered suspects in her death. Shaw said while there have been individuals the task force has spoken with that they believe aren't involved, no suspects have been ruled out.
"You never rule anybody out until an arrest is made," he said.
Police are no longer seeking information about a gray painter's van with multiple dents. The van was of interest at the onset of the investigation due to it being seen driving throughout the Armada area the day of the murder.
Even if tips have declined, residents have shown they have not forgotten. Homes and businesses in Armada, Richmond and Romeo have tied pink ribbons around trees, mailboxes and streetlights in memory of Millsap.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call 877-616-4677 or submit a tip at www.michigan.gov/michtip. Tips can be made anonymously.