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‘Nobody Wanted to Believe Us’: Families Say Police Did Not Do Enough to Find Detroit Rappers Alive, As Authorities Find Three Bodies Suspected to be Missing Men

Officials may have found the bodies of three Michigan men who went missing two weeks ago in the Detroit area.

Multiple corpses have been found in an abandoned apartment building in Detroit, but family members of the friends say enough was not done by law enforcement to find them sooner.

One mother took to social media alleging multiple agencies purposely did not look for her son and the others because he was a felon, adding police said her son was a “drug dealer” and “gang member” as a reason why they were not going to look for him. Another mother said the police have found the men and were planning funeral arrangements.

Armani “Marley Whoop” Kelly, 27, Montoya Givens, 31, and Dante “B12” Wicker, 31, were supposed to perform at a birthday party at Lounge 31 in Detroit on Jan. 21. The show was canceled. They are not known to have been seen alive since then.

Missing Rappers
Armani Kelly, 38, Dante Wicker, 31, and Montoya Givens, 31, were reported missing after a scheduled Jan. 21 performance in Detroit was canceled. (Photo: Facebook Nina Innsted)

The three men apparently linked up on the day of the canceled club appearance when Kelly drove from some 200 miles south from Oscoda, Michigan, to pick up his friends in the Detroit area to perform at the show.

Kelly was the first of the men to be reported missing, with his mother contacting police about his disappearance on Jan. 23. Family members of the three say after they reported the men missing, it was weeks before law enforcement truly hunkered down to help find them.

Lorrie Kemp, the mother of Kelly, posted on social media a week after the men went missing, saying she believed police were not looking for her son and his friends with any urgency because he had served time in prison. She wrote on Facebook Sunday, “shame on the police, shame on the whole state, and shame on u Detroit. If only 1 police dept. would have listened, maybe we would NOT be here!”

“I was told my son was a felony & a drug dealer & a gang member! Really! He severed (sic) his time,” adding, “He’s NOT a drug dealer nor is he in a gang. Were in Oscoda is he selling drugs to?”

Kemp further stated the officers judged the men for their pasts, which is why no one was really searching for them.

In an emotional interview with NBC News, Kemp cried out, believing something really bad happened to her son, “I’ll never see that beautiful smile.”

“He was trying so hard to promote his rap. Do you know how guilty I feel that my son picked up these other two young men?” Kemp said.

Another mother, Cat Fogle, told the Detroit News her son was not a rapper.

“When he got out of prison in March, his younger brother entered the music game and was producing and writing his own music. They talked about doing it together, but he said, ‘That’s not really for me,'” she recalled. 

She also said Kelly and Givens were locked up together in the Baraga Correctional Facility in Baraga from August 2017 to March 2022. Taylor Perrin, Kelly’s fiancée, said all three men were locked up together.

Kemp said she took matters into her own hands to find her son. She used OnStar to track down the car he was driving. She said she went by herself and canvassed the area, passing out flyers.

The vehicle kept popping up on the OnStar tracking but was eventually found later in the Detroit suburb of Warren.

Perrin said, “Nobody wanted to believe us. The cops had the car, and they wanted us to pick it up, they were like, ‘Oh, he’s probably with another woman inside of one of these apartments.'”

Fogle told Detroit News officials called her and confirmed they found her son dead.

Kelly’s vehicle was recovered last week. On Thursday, Feb. 2, Warren police said a teen had been in possession of the vehicle.

Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said they picked up a 15-year-old boy last week, alleging he was in Kelly’s 2017 Chevrolet Equinox without a license plate, according to NBC News.

Dwyer said officers brought the teen “into the Warren police headquarters” and that “he was taken into custody” and described the boy’s cooperation with authorities.

The commissioner shared there were no signs that anything violent happened in the car, saying, “There was no blood or anything of a nature that would lead us to believe they were either transported or murdered in that particular vehicle.”

The teen told officers he was instructed to pick up the car on Schoolcraft Road on Detroit’s west side.

Law enforcement used the boy’s call and text history to locate the man who told him to get the car. Sources close to the case told the Detroit News this individual had an outstanding warrant involving alleged fraud. He was taken into custody on Monday after they received a warrant to search his house.

He was questioned about the rappers, Dwyer said. This was a big break in the case for officers.

An additional break was footage of a man cleaning out Kelly’s car with gloves. The investigators used high-definition zoom from various Project Green Light locations in Detroit and were able to identify the person.

Later that night, Michigan State Police posted on Twitter, saying, “Members of the Homicide Task Force, Metro South Post, and the MSP Forensic lab are currently at an abandoned apartment complex on the corner of McNichols and Log Cabin in Highland Park on a death investigation.”

Multiple victims are said to have been in the building. Detectives have now confirmed it to be the three men.

As a part of their investigation, law enforcement was led to the apartment complex after gaining access to the three men’s cellular data. It took time for the police to actually get the data from their phone companies because of an apparent lack of “exigent circumstances.” But after a few days, the police convinced the providers there was a danger in their lives and needed the data for the investigation.

 All three men’s phones pinged to the area near the large, abandoned apartment complex.

Multiple police agencies canvassed the building until they found their lifeless bodies in the basement. They were all fatally shot and left beneath old construction equipment.

The presence of the bodies was confirmed by Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw; however, three Detroit police sources have confirmed the men’s identities.

Fogle said police called her around 4:30 p.m. “They told me they found the three bodies. … I don’t know what I’m going to do; how I’m going to bury him.” 

Kemp said police “didn’t identify them” but told them there were three bodies.

While an official identification has not been handed down, Kemp says she does want closure. “I want to lay him to rest,” the mom said. “And try to move on.”

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