Current News



Bodies of missing 2 rappers, friend found under debris in vacant Michigan apartment building

George Hunter, The Detroit News on

Published in News & Features

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. — The bodies of three missing men — two rappers from Oscoda and Melvindale who'd visited Detroit for a gig along with a friend from Detroit — were found under a pile of debris in the basement of a vacant Highland Park apartment building, according to three police sources familiar with the investigation.

Police had been looking for rappers Armani Kelly and Dante Wicker and friend Montoya Givens for nearly two weeks, after the three were reported missing Jan. 21. Investigators discovered the men's bodies Thursday inside the Northcourse Apartments building on the Highland Park border near Detroit's Palmer Park, the sources told The Detroit News.

Investigators were led to the area after obtaining the three men's cellular data. Their three phones "pinged" to the area near the large, abandoned apartment complex. Members of several units from multiple police agencies searched the building, finally discovering the bodies in the basement, beneath old construction equipment. The victims had been shot, a source said.

Police had requested data from their respective cellphone companies after the men were reported missing, but because "exigent circumstances" involving an immediate known danger didn't exist, it took several days for police to get access to the data, the source said.

Michigan State Police 1st Lt. Mike Shaw confirmed three bodies were found under mounds of debris inside the apartment complex, and at 6 p.m., he said the bodies hadn't yet been removed from the building. He didn't confirm the bodies belonged to the three missing men, although three Detroit police sources with knowledge of the investigation confirmed the bodies were those of Kelly, 27, Wicker, 31, and Givens, 31.

"It's supposed to be abandoned, but there are a lot of squatters in there," said Shaw of the large complex.


Early Thursday evening, police had put up yellow crime scene tape, while parked outside were the Detroit Police Mobile Command Center and units from the Michigan State Police, which was leading the investigation, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.

Kelly, a rapper from Oscoda who performed under the alias Marley Whoop, had been slated to perform at a Jan. 21 birthday party at Lounge 31 near Gratiot, but the event was canceled. Wicker, a rapper from Melvindale, was also scheduled to perform at the Lounge 31 party under the stage name "B12," police said.

That night, Kelly told his fiancée the gig had been canceled over an equipment issue, so he planned to link up with others and possibly find open mic events. But texts, calls and Facebook messages went unanswered sometime after 7:30 p.m., according to Kelly's fiancée, Taylor Perrin.

Police said Kelly picked up Wicker and Givens on the way to the gig before it was canceled. The three men had been missing since.


swipe to next page

(c)2023 The Detroit News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus