3 bodies believed to belong to rappers in Highland Park can’t be identified due to poor conditions

Bodies found in abandoned apartment basement with rat infestation

Missing Michigan rappers Dante Wicker (left), Montoya Givens (center) and Armani Kelly (right) who were last heard from on Jan. 21, 2023 (WDIV)

DETROIT – Police are waiting on autopsy results to determine if the bodies of three men found Thursday in the basement of a Highland Park apartment complex belong to three missing rappers.

UPDATE: Police identify 3 bodies found in Highland Park as missing Michigan rappers

Michigan State Police, who are investigating alongside Detroit police, said Friday, Feb. 3, that they’ve been unable to identify three bodies found in an abandoned apartment building’s basement in the area of McNichols Road and Woodward Avenue. Investigators on Thursday found the men’s bodies in poor condition, and haven’t been able to identify them yet.

Authorities believe the bodies belong to three missing rappers who were last seen on Jan. 21, but they are waiting on autopsy results to know for sure.

“As of right now, the three male victims that were located in the basement cannot be identified due to weather conditions and the conditions of the victims,” MSP said in an update Friday. “It’s unable to be determined just by sight alone.”

It was not said exactly what conditions the bodies were in, or how long they were believed to have been there.

The three men were discovered by Detroit’s homicide task force on the night of Feb. 2, when temperatures were below freezing. Investigators also said that the abandoned apartment building is in poor condition and is infested with rats.

The bodies have been taken to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office to undergo autopsies -- however, staff “might not be able to perform autopsies right away due to extreme cold,” MSP said.

Police expect autopsy results could take up to 48 hours.

The bodies found are believed to belong to Michigan rappers Armani Kelly, 27, of Oscoda; Montoya Givens, 31, of Detroit; and Dante Wicker, 31, of Melvindale. The three were last seen on Jan. 21, when they were scheduled to perform at Lounge 31 on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit. The show was abruptly canceled, however, due to an equipment issue, according to police.

Kelly, Givens and Wicker haven’t been seen or heard from since. Kelly’s fiancee, Taylor Perrin, said he hasn’t answered texts, calls or social media messages since the night of the canceled show. His vehicle was seen in several locations before being left at an apartment building in Warren, where police found it empty.

Related: Mother searching for son who vanished with 2 other rappers in Detroit

MSP said they will notify the public once they’ve positively identified the bodies found in Highland Park. Investigators are still gathering and examining evidence at the apartment complex as of Friday.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.