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Two arrested on drug charges during slain Mich. teen probe

April Millsap, 14, was found murdered July 24, 2014 near a nature trail where she had been walking her dog in Armada, Mich. CBS Detroit

WALES TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Police have taken a registered sex offender and his son into custody on drug charges after the offender's home was searched Wednesday in connection to the case of murdered Michigan teen April Millsap, reports CBS Detroit.

Millsap's dog reportedly led a pair of joggers to her body around 8:30 p.m. July 24, 15 to 20 feet off the wooded nature trail where she had been walking the animal near her home in Armada, Mich., about 45 miles north of Detroit.

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James Bernard VanCallis
CBS Detroit/Online Registry
The recent middle school graduate, 14, sent a text message to her boyfriend the night of her murder that read, "Omg. Wtf. I think I'm being kidnapped," Armada Police Chief Howard Smith told The Macomb Daily. However, CBS Detroit said police wouldn't confirm the contents of the text message.

FBI agents and state police troopers served the warrants Wednesday afternoon at a home in Wales Township, about 20 miles northeast of Armada, reported MLive.com.

The home was registered to 66-year-old James VanCallis, a registered sex offender who was convicted in 1995 of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13, as well as fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person between 13 and 16, reports CBS Detroit.

VanCallis was taken into custody Wednesday. Neighbors told the station VanCallis yelled he was being arrested on marijuana charges. His son was also taken into custody.

The neighbor, George Dickerson, told the station that the FBI and Michigan State Police were at the home for hours, collecting evidence.

"They definitely took a lot of things out of the home," said Dickerson. "Furniture, you know, bags of stuff ... a chair, looked like some cushions maybe."

Police confirmed the two men were arrested on marijuana charges and wouldn't comment on whether or not the arrests have any connection to the Millsap case, reports the station.

Police say Millsap's death was ruled a homicide, reports the station, but they've released few details about how she died. There were also no stab or gunshot wounds on her body, according to reports.

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Police have released this composite sketch of a person who was seen on the Armada, Mich. trail near the site where April Millsap's body was found Thursday, July 24. Anyone with information is asked to call 877-616-4677.


Michigan State Police/CBS Detroit
Investigators have released a sketch of a man who was seen on the trail, but it's not clear if the man is a witness or a suspect.

Police haven't ruled anyone out in the murder, but police say they don't believe her family was involved, Armada Police Chief Howard Smith told CBS Detroit.

Police said last week that they were also searching for a long, gray "painter's-type" box van with dents all over it that was spotted in the area. They are also hoping to speak with the two men seen inside, reports CBS Detroit.

They've also reportedly received tips about a small blue and white motorcycle with a young male rider wearing a black helmet seen on the trail around the time Millsap is believed to have been murdered.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Michigan State Police tip line at 877-616-4677. Tips may also be submitted online at http://www.michigan.gov/michtip.

  • Crimesider Staff

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