ARMADA, Mich. – Nothing has been the same for people in Armada over the past few days. Since the body of 14-year-old April Millsap was found near a bike trail on Thursday, everything has changed in the village.
Some of the changes are visible, like the school administration building, which is now taken over by police investigators using it as headquarters for the search for the victim's killer. There are other changes the citizens can feel, like the sadness hanging over the town.
"Yesterday it was disbelief," said Armada Schools superintendent Michael Musary. "Today it's reality. Our hearts are broken."
April's school, Armada Middle School, opened early Saturday morning for grief counseling. The first people to arrive were April's boyfriend, Austin, and his parents.
"Obviously there was a lot of love for April....
The sign hanging over the town is for next month's fair, but there's no feeling of excitement surrounding the event. Just down the road FBI agents are going door to door looking for clues about April's murder.
April was excited for the fair because her grandpa was coming from Florida to see her. On Saturday night he says the family is not only devastated, but they're also asking if April knew the person who killed her.
"That's what we think," said Dennis Levans, April's grandfather. "This is what we think. It's almost like it had to be something like somebody knew them. We can't think of any other reason. We can't come up with any other logical reason."
The other disturbing clue is that when April went to walk her dog "Penny," she sent a text message to her boyfriend, saying 'I think I'm about to be abducted.'
"Yes, and sometimes kids can be silly," Levans said. "He might have thought of it as being a prank or something. Why wouldn't he have called the police right away?"
Levans says after April sent that text, her mom and her boyfriend were out in their cars looking for her.
In the meantime, parents are telling Local 4 that they are not allowing their children to go to the Macomb Orchard trail.
There will be a prayer service at St. Mary in Armada at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.