April Millsap's mother, Jennifer Millsap, second from right, looks down before she and others walk into the funeral home for visiting hours as family members and friends of murdered 14-year-old April Millsap gather at the Tiffany-Young and Hauss Funeral Home in Armada, Thursday afternoon, July 31, 2014, for visiting hours. (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)
Armada— Family and friends came out Thursday to pay their respects to a 14-year-old girl whose body was found in a wooded area.
Many who attended the visitation for April Millsap at the Tiffany-Young and Hauss Funeral Home in Armada wore bits of pink in honor of the teen whose body was found last week in a ditch along the Macomb Orchard Trail near the village.
One family wore bright pink T-shirts that read “Armada Angel.”
Lynn Vukovich of nearby Ray Township brought her daughter, who went to school with April. Vukovich said she also wanted to show support for April’s mother, Jennifer.
Vukovich and her family moved from Shelby Township to escape the throngs of people and the traffic, and to give her daughter space to be a kid. But such a tragedy colors her perspective.
“I have always been cautious as a mother, but this makes you a little bit more, which is kind of sad,” she said. “This makes you lock the doors and you want to love your children even more and tell them to be very careful.”
Pink bows were tied along both sides of Fulton Street and the funeral home placed a delicate bow around the flag pole. A funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Mary Mystical Rose Catholic Church, 24040 Armada Ridge Road.
Directly across the street from the funeral home, a pink sign was tied to a tree. Handwritten in colorful letters were the words “God Bless April.”
More than 100 people turned out Wednesday night for a concert in the park that raised money for April’s funeral expenses.
The FBI Detroit Division confirmed it executed a search warrant at a home Wednesday about 15 miles west of Port Huron in St. Clair County, said David K. Porter, FBI Detroit Division supervisory special agent.
Porter said two men were arrested but not in connection to the slaying. The two were taken into custody for a marijuana growing operation inside the home.
He added authorities are following every lead including phone records because a text message was sent from April’s cellphone the day of her murder.
Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police said Thursday afternoon there were no new developments to report in the homicide task force investigation, saying “there are no suspects in custody at this time” in the homicide.
Thursday afternoon, police stopped vehicles at various intersections throughout Armada in hopes of generating new leads, Shaw said. Tips from the public slowed following the marijuana raid, possibly because some believed the investigation was over, he said.
“The investigation is still ongoing,” he said. “We’re still looking for her killer. We’re trying to see if people saw anything.”
Shaw said it hadn’t been determined how long police would canvass the area Thursday.
State Police are seeking information on a motorcycle that may have been in the area. They also have released a composite sketch of a white male with sandy brown or reddish hair who is a person of interest and is being sought for questioning.
“The important thing is the public needs to know we still need their help in the homicide investigation,” Shaw said.
Anyone with information should call police at (877) 616-4677.
Staff Writers Mike Martindale and Candice Williams contributed.