ARMADA, Mich. -

New clues are emerging that reveal 14-year-old April Millsap's murderer first was trying to sexually assault her.

The Armada teen was found killed July 24 in a drainage ditch along the Macomb Orchard Trail in Armada. She had been beaten and strangled.

When police arrived at her body they found her pants pulled down and her top lifted up. There was dirt under her fingernails, signaling she struggled with her attacker.

April's chest and neck had marks. The lower part of her body appeared unharmed, but because clothing was removed a rape kit was used to help investigators determine if she had been raped. Police will not comment on the rape test kit or potential findings from it. The medical examiner confirms the testing was done and any potential evidence was handed over to detectives.

While there may not have been any obvious signs of sexual assault -- no condom near the scene and no visual disturbance to the victim's lower body -- those working this case say April was at the least the victim of an attempted sexual assault.

The person responsible made his move first to sexually assault her, but it's unclear what led the attacker to overpower the young girl and take her life.

[Timeline] April Millsap homicide investigation

[Donate] Online fund for Millsap's family