Armada lives with degree of uncertainty as students return to school

Superintendent addresses concerns as April Millsap murder investigation continues

By Roger Weber - Reporter

ARMADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A person of interest is in custody, but still there are no named suspects or charges in the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap, and that has some people in her small Armada community living with a degree of uncertainty.

The crime has impacted just about every part of life, including what used to be a simple walk to school for some children.

The Armada Tigers are back on the football field, members of the marching band are practicing again, the return of 2,000 students is an important step in getting back to normal, but pink ribbons are still everywhere in memory of April Millsap.

"It's just scary. We put the kids on a buddy plan," said Josephine Spear, who has three grandchildren in the Armada school system. "They have to be together. They have to be in before dark."

Superintendent Mike Musary is trying to ease parents' concerns. He said 159 middle and high school students living within a mile of their schools do not ride the bus.

"We want the parent and students to have peace of mind," said Musary.

Middle school students now have the option of staying after school and riding the bus with grade school students.

"For that hour, students will go to a study hall situation where they'll do their homework for an hour, and then walk across the street to the elementary bus get on that and go home," Musary said.

Only six or seven students have chosen that option. The superintendent met with parents a few days ago.

"We can't add more bus drivers or more buses or more routes, but what we can do is consolidate or change some routes possibly, but we have to see how many student ride each route first," said Musary.

Musary said students going to and from school do not use the trail where April was killed. He has watched them walk.

"I wanted to assess it personally to see if the students looked nervous or were concerned, but that wasn't the case," said Musary.

But the superintendent and parents agree people will not feel truly safe until the case is solved.

"It's a black cloud that hangs over us every day," said parent Kevin Collins. "Everybody is on edge."

[Timeline] April Milsap homicide investigation

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