Police search properties as part of April Millsap death investigation

WALES TOWNSHI, Mich. – For the second time in nearly a month, investigators were back at the same home in Goodells, an unincorporated community in Wales Township. The last time police were at the home, armed with a search warrant in connection to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap, they arrested two men at the home for an illegal marijuana grow operation, but nothing in connection with Millsap.

Monday, dozens of FBI agents and state police officers conducted a grid search of that same property and asked to dig up an area behind the next door neighbor's home.

Those who live in the rural area of St. Clair County said they overwhelmed by the police presence that has descend on them.

"There's been a lot of activity over there and we're just wondering what the heck is going on," said Rhonda O'Donnell, who lives down the street.

Law enforcement experts told Local 4 the nature of the grid search suggests they are looking for something small and sturdy -- something that would have survived more than three weeks outside and not been destroyed by recent heavy rains.

A lawyer for the family who owns the home made it clear they have had quite enough of the search warrants.

"Although they have been fully cooperative with investigators from the beginning, their house has been "ransacked" a second time. They want the harassment to stop," said attorney Dean Ankouny.

So far, no charges have been field against the men who live at the home in connection with Millsap's murder.

Meanwhile, messages of support for Millsap's family are still seen all over the village of Armada. The teenager was found murdered along the Macomb Orchard Trail after she took her dog out for a walk. Her mother said their family has no connection to the home being searched in Goodells.

Joggers found the 14-year-old's body July 24 in a drainage ditch along the Macomb Orchard Trail in Armada. The recent middle school graduate disappeared while walking her dog.

Millsap's mother, Jennifer, said the day her daughter disappeared was like any other.

"She said, ‘I'm taking Penny for walk.' Then she went into the house, got a bowl of water, got a bottle of water for her," Jennifer Millsap said. "Around 8 o'clock when she wasn't there yet, I started getting worried. That's when they started driving around looking for her."

--April's dog, Penny.

The teen was found beaten and strangled. The family dog, Penny, stayed with her body until it was found.

Jennifer Millsap doesn't think her daughter knew her killer.

"My gut? No. I don't think she knew who did this. I don't think they knew her. I just think she was in the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.

Investigators continue hunting for the killer.

In July, homicide investigators searched a home in Goodells, an unincorporated community in Wales Township, and arrested a father and adult son on drug charges. They were searching that same home on Monday in connection to Millsap's killing.

"The residents at the home on Marquette Road are extremely disappointed with how the police have handled this investigation," said attorney Dean Ankouny. "Although they have been fully cooperative with investigators from the beginning, their house has now been 'ransacked' a second time. They want the harassment to stop."

Police spent 8 hours at the home on Monday.


[Video] April Millsap's mother talks to Local 4

[Timeline] April Milsap homicide investigation

[Donate] Online fund for Millsap's family

April Millsap

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