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‘I Don’t Want to be on Dateline’: Mystery Behind Three Michigan Men Disappearing Before a Rap Performance Baffles Family, Cops After Car Found ‘Muddy, Without a License Plate

An ongoing search for three Michigan aspiring rappers who went missing just before they were scheduled to perform has left the men’s loved ones little answers but a slew of questions.

It has been ten days and counting since Armani Kelly, 27, Dante Wicker, 31, and Montoya Givens, 31, disappeared without a trace.

“I will never stop looking for him,” Lorrie Kemp wrote on her Facebook page.  

Kemp is Kelly’s mother, and since he went missing on Jan. 21, she has spent countless hours dedicated to finding her son.

“I don’t want to be on Dateline in 20 years to find his body,” Kemp told WXYZ.

The Detroit News reports police in multiple cities are seeking tips on the rappers’ disappearance.  

The day the three friends went missing, Kelly drove from Oscoda, Michigan, nearly 200 miles north of Detroit to pick up his friends Wicker and Givens, who live within the metro Detroit area. They were going to Lounge 31 in Detroit, the venue for their planned performance. Kemp told WWJ her son called her once the group arrived in Detroit.

Kelly’s fiancée, Taylor Perrin, told the Detroit News, “the gig was canceled over an equipment issue.”

Detroit Police Commander Michael McGinnis told WJBK, “a family member of one of the men believes they made it to the club before they disappeared,” although police later clarified the timeline.

“At this point, there’s nothing to suggest they did,” make it to the venue McGinnis said to The Detroit News.

Phone records for Kelly, Wicker and Givens ended around midnight, “late January 21 or early January 22,” WJBK added.

“From there, we just have a whole lot of unanswered questions that we’re trying to find the answer to,” McGinnis said. “The fact that the three of them are missing together is very concerning and very alarming for us,” he continued.

Missing Detroit Rappers
A flyer was created for Armani Kelly, 38, Dante Wicker, 31, and Montoya Givens, 31, who went missing on January 21 in Detroit, MI. (Photo: Facebook/Nina Innsted)

Kemp reported her son missing on Jan. 23 after not hearing from Kelly for 24 hours. Families for Wicker and Givens also filed missing persons reports.

Kemp said she used OnStar to “track the [2017 Chevrolet Equinox Kelly] was driving to Warren, Michigan, where it was recovered on Jan. 23,” WJBK reported.

The vehicle was found “muddy, without a license plate, at an apartment complex,” the Detroit News added.

The city of Warren is roughly 20 miles north of Detroit, and because the vehicle tracking records show it was detected at three locations in Warren, that city’s police department has joined the investigation into the missing men.

Perrin told the Detroit News that texts, calls and Facebook messages she sent to Kelly went “unanswered sometime after 7:30 p.m.”

According to Perrin, Kelly, Givens and Wicker became friends while incarcerated. She says since Kelly’s release from prison, he has worked to turn his life around, and he loved to rap.

“Armani did his time and came out as a whole new person,” Perrin said.

Kelly served eight years in prison for an armed robbery in 2014. Givens served time for robbery and carjacking.

“How there’s three grown men missing, and nobody seems to know anything,” Perrin asked.

Kemp has criticized the police search efforts for the missing men. She told WXYZ, “there was no sense of urgency from authorities to find her son until police agencies in multiple jurisdictions realized two other men were missing.”

“Shame on the police on the whole state & shame on u, Detroit. If only 1 police dept. Would have listened maybe we would NOT b here,” Kemp wrote on her Facebook page.

Detroit police confirmed to Atlanta Black Star they are actively looking for the men and seeking tips on the disappearance.

McGinnis told ABC News, “police are checking license plate readers and security video to try to solve the mystery.”

As days have turned into nearly two weeks, Kemp already fears the worst.

“I’m not going to say ‘no, in my gut, my heart, he’s gone,” Kemp said of her missing son. “As much as I love him, and I want him to be okay, I just want to take him home so we can lay him down to rest,” she told WJBK.

 We will continue to update this story as it continues to develop.

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