Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family - KMSP-TV

Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

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ARMADA, Mich. (WJBK) - Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.

They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother.

"We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."

In the middle of it all, April's border collie Penny who stood by the teen, alerting joggers in th arethewho eventually made the tragic discovery at the end of the Macomb Orchard trail.

At first, police released a sketch describing a person of interest and asked for tips regarding a blue and white motorcycle seen parked near the trail at the time the girl was killed.

That may have been what motivated the raid at a house on Marquette Road in Wales Township.

Neighbors say they know that blue and white motorcycle well.

"He's lived here for nine years he has a blue and white motorcycle too," neighbor Rhonda O' Donnell said. "You used to see it parked by the four-car garage he turned into an apartment.  I haven't seen it for awhile."

"Since this happened I really didn't realize it (that) until this started happening, you don't see the motorcycle," said neighbor Mike Fraley.
On Wednesday the FBI and Michigan State Police raided the house in connection to the young girl's murder, carrying out bags of evidence.

Fox 2 cameras rolled as police hauled two men away. One in handcuffs and the other in a police cruiser.

Police say it was for an illegal marijuana grow operation. However, records show a register sex offender, 66 year-old James Van Callis, lives at the house.

He was convicted for two separate criminal sexual conduct charges. One for a person under 13  and the other for a person between 13 and 16 years old.

Police won't confirm a connection to the young girl's murder. .But friends and family are hopeful they are one step closer to solving it.

"Hopefully justice is served," O'Donnell said.

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