Police search home of murdered teen whose phone was used to text 'OMG I'm being kidnapped'

By: ABC News
By: ABC News

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Armada, Mich. (ABC) -- Police have searched a house in connection with the murder of a 14-year-old Michigan girl who was killed while walking her dog on a wooded hiking path, authorities said today.

Police and the FBI executed the search this afternoon outside the town of Armada and would not release any information about the subject of the search, but they did confirm it was related to the murder of April Millsap. Police have not revealed how the teen was killed.

David Porter, a spokesman for the FBI's Detroit field office, confirmed to ABC News that a search warrant had been issued, prompting the search but no arrests have been made in connection to the murder. Two individuals are in custody after police discovered a marijuana growing operation inside the house, police said, noting charges have yet to be filed.

The probable cause statement and search warrant connected to today's search are under seal so the name of the individual whose home was searched has not been publicly released, but Porter said it is not the end of the investigation.

Early reports about Millsap's murder included claims from a relative that she had texted her boyfriend on July 24 saying "OMG. ... I think I'm being kidnapped." But Michigan State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Shaw told ABC News that the message was phrased differently and may not have come from April herself.

"We don't know who sent it," Shaw said, without revealing what time the text was sent.

Porter also told ABC News that the investigative team is "aware of a number of text messages that were sent from April's phone."

Investigators have not released any information about the way in which April was killed, saying that it is "a crucial part of the investigation," but have officially declared it a homicide. The 14-year-old's body was found in a ditch by joggers in the Macomb Orchard Trail on the night of July 24 with her dog Penny sitting by her body, police said.

Shaw said that while no one is ever truly ruled out as a suspect, April's relatives and boyfriend "don't appear to be responsible."

Investigators have released a sketch of a suspect that they said was compiled from tips from others inside the park around the time that Millsap is believed to have been killed. They are also interested in any information pertaining to a blue-and-white motorbike that Porter described as looking more like a motocross bike than a Harley Davidson.

Porter added that today's search outside of Armada is not the first search to be executed in this case, and without specifying the targets, he confirmed that phone records have been part of that search.

"When we are conducting a search warrant, sometimes it is not right at the end of an investigation," Porter said.

The teen’s funeral is scheduled for Friday and a GoFundMe page started by a family friend has already raised more than $11,700 -- quickly surpassing the $5,000 goal -- and is set to cover the burial expenses, according to the page.


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