(Photo: Detroit Police)
The families of three Michigan rap artists want answers about their whereabouts after they disappeared when their performance at a Detroit club was canceled.
Detroit Police Chief James White told the Detroit Free Press that homicide and missing persons investigators are involved in the case, which includes investigators in three other Michigan police departments: Melvindale and Warren, in suburban Detroit, and Oscoda, located in the state’s northern Lower Peninsula.
Armani Kelly, one of the rappers whose stage name is Marley Whoop, sent a text on Jan. 21 to his fiancée, Taylor Perrin, saying the show was canceled, according to local station WXYZ. That was the last time Kelly’s mother, Lorrie Kemp, and Perrin heard from him.
Kelly, 28, of Oscoda, was first reported missing to Oscoda police on Jan. 22 after Kemp hadn't heard from him. Using OnStar, she tracked the car Kelly was driving. It was moved three times in Warren and ended up in a condo complex.
The Washington Post reported that authorities found the vehicle in a parking lot about five miles from the club where they were scheduled to perform. Investigators are looking into whether any of the men had connections there.
Authorities believe Kelly, Montoya Givens, 31, of Detroit, and Dante Wicker, 31, of Melvindale were together at Lounge 31 in Detroit for their scheduled performance, White said. What happened to them after that is a mystery.
"The fact that the three of them are missing together is very concerning and very alarming for us," Detroit Police Cmdr. Michael McGinnis told the Detroit Free Press.
White said the three men’s cellphone and social media activities went silent since the early morning hours of Jan. 22
"We just have a whole lot of unanswered questions," and some family members are beginning to lose hope, said McGinnis.
Investigators are now seeking the public’s assistance. “We need help. We want to find them, and get them home to their loved ones," McGinnis added.
Kemp took the initiative to post missing-person flyers throughout Lansing, Mich., where Kelly grew up.
"I am doing everything I possibly can and I am out there hitting the roads, hitting the pavement. Where is the police department? They didn't do their job," Kemp told WXYZ.
In her view, the authorities felt no sense of urgency to locate Kelly until other police agencies realized that two other men were missing.
“Nobody wanted to believe us. When the cops had the car, they wanted us to pick it up. They were like, oh he’s probably just with another woman inside of one of these apartments,” Perrin told local station WDIV.
She told The Detroit News that her fiancé was turning his life around after his early release from prison on an armed robbery charge. Kelly was taking college classes, pursuing his rap career and planning their wedding.
“It’s just been a nightmare that I wanna wake up from and I want my fiancé home,” Perrin told WDIV. “He didn’t deserve any of this and I just pray that he’s somewhere out there. We need him.”
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