ARMADA, MI – Investigators in the murder of 14 year old April Millsap are working around the clock to solve this horrific crime.
Numerous local law enforcement from the Armada Police Department, Michigan State Police, Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI are involved in the investigation.
A command post has been set up inside of the Armada Middle School where April had been a student.
Authorities have been going door to door, on multiple instances to the same houses, just making sure that they have every piece of information possible to solve this case.
Investigators are asking anyone who was walking on the trail or who saw April and her dog in the village of Armada between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday July 24th, 2014 to contact the tip line if they have not already done so.
FBI experts say potential suspects may show an excessive interest in the case, have unexplained absences from their regular activities, changing patterns in his or her daily lifestyle and might have altered their appearance in some way.
Police yesterday released a sketch of a person of interest in the case. The individual is a white male being sought for questioning in connection with the case. His hair color is sandy brown or reddish.
One person has come forward to authorities believing they recognize the person in the sketch. That person wishes to remain unnamed in reports.
Michigan State Police are also looking for a long gray box van that has multiple dents and was occupied by two males. Police say the role of the van in the case has not been determined.
A clue in April’s murder is that she sent a text message to her boyfriend, Austin Albertson, saying “Omg. … I think I’m being kidnapped”. The origin of that text has not been verified as of yet. Text messages can be manipulated and police are not confirming what the actual message stated.
Austin Albertson was given a lie detector test. He did not stick around for the results because he wanted to get to the prayer vigil that was being held outside of April’s church. Alberston did pass the test his father states.
Police are also seeking information about a small blue and white CC motorcycle with a young male rider wearing a black helmet seen riding on the trail around the time of the murder.
April’s family and boyfriend are not considered suspects in her death based on what the investigation has already learned.
April Dawn Millsap, 14 years of age, was discovered Thursday evening murdered near the Macomb Orchard Trail. She was found in a drainage ditch about 10 to 15 feet off of trail. The young girls body was located in the area of Fulton and Depot roads at 8:25 p.m.
The teenager went to walk her dog between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and did not return home. The border collie, Penny, stayed with April until she was found. The dog alerted joggers that something was wrong.
Relatives and friends of the family are indicating the possibility that April Millsap may have been beaten to death. April’s mother, Jennifer Millsap, has stated April’s face was pretty badly bruised. Investigators have not disclosed the cause of death other than to say it was a homicide.
Those close to the investigation have stated that the community has been working with them on leads. Officials have received over 600 tips that they are currently working through but they want more.
“There’s no such thing as a tip that’s not worthwhile,” said Armada police Chief Howard Smith. “We’re especially interested in any information from anyone who was on the trail between 6:20 and 8:20 p.m. Even the smallest bit of information could be helpful.”
April’s family has not had access to her body because of the ongoing investigation. The family is expecting that later today or tomorrow that the body will be released and they will be able to formalize funeral arrangements. Those arrangements are pending.
Investigators ask anyone with tips on the killing of April Millsap or the identity of the person of interest in the case to contact them at 877-616-4677 or www.michigan.gov/michtip.
Armada is a village in Macomb County, Michigan. The population estimate is near 1,700 people. It is located about 35 miles north of Detroit.
You can donate to a Memorial Fund for April Millsap. At this time a total of $10,330 has been raised towards her funeral expenses. Contributions to the family for funeral expenses may also be done at any Fifth Third Bank. Checks may be made to “For the benefit of April Millsap.”
A family organized Facebook page has also been setup: “Justice For April Millsap.”
To submit an ANONYMOUS tip:
Call: 1-800-SPEAKUP (1-800-773-2587)
Text: CSM and your tip to CRIMES (274637)