ARMADA (CBS Detroit) – Distraught mother Jennifer Millsap broke her silence Friday morning to speak exclusively to the WYCD morning show in the wake of her 14-year-old daughter April’s brutal slaying.
Morning show host Dr. Don Carpenter asked Jennifer Millsap if she wants the community to tie pink ribbons around town — on trees, mailboxes, etc., — to memorialize her daughter.
“I would appreciate it very much,” Millsap said. “It would be a beautiful thing for the community to show their support.” Producer Steve Grunwald chimed in to say, “Let’s put those pink ribbons everywhere.”
Millsap went on to say the press is hounding her family and “we’ve got the police to try to keep them at bay but they find a way to sneak in.”
“I love your show, thank you so much,” an obviously emotional Millsap added. In response to a remark from Rachel Hunter about April being her only daughter, she said: “She’s my only baby.”
The mother says she’s not getting any sleep. Meanwhile, police and FBI agents have been stopping vehicles entering and leaving the village of Armada as they investigate April’s killing. Her body was found in a wooded area of the southeastern Michigan community, with her dog standing guard. She had been walking her dog Penny along the Macomb Orchard Trail.
The community is gathering Friday at Armada’s St. Mary Mystical Rose Catholic Church for her funeral.
Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw told local media no suspects are in custody, and they’re still searching for a person of interest who was seen on the trail where April had been walking her dog.
A resident, who only wanted to be identified as Brian, told WWJ FBI agents and police officers were stopping vehicles along Fulton Road, the village’s main street.
“They’re stopping every car both ways, and they’re taking license plate numbers, names and addresses. They’re writing all this stuff down, they have a clipboard, and they’re writing everybody’s information down. It’s not like they’re just checking and you go ahead, they’re writing everything down,” he said.
The Associated Press reported investigators searched a home Wednesday in St. Clair County’s Wales Township, and authorities arrested two men there on drug charges. The home is about 13 miles east-northeast of Armada, but authorities wouldn’t say if there’s any connection to Millsap.
Millsap’s death has been ruled a homicide, although authorities have released few details about the cause — except to say she was not shot or stabbed. She was allegedly beaten, per media reports.
The teen apparently sent a text message to her boyfriend, indicating she thought she was about to be abducted. The message stated “Omg. Wtf. I think I’m being kidnapped,” the Macomb Daily reported.
Police confirmed a message was sent from Millsap’s phone, but would not comment on the contents of the message.
Anyone with information on the case is urged to contact police at 877-616-4677. Tips may also be submitted online at www.michigan.gov/michtip.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the family for funeral expenses may do so at any Fifth Third Bank. Checks may be made to “For the benefit of April Millsap.”