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3 missing Michigan rappers found dead

Authorities on Friday confirmed that they have found the bodies of three Michigan rappers who were reported missing last month.

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Detroit police found the bodies of 27-year-old Armani Kelly, 31-year-old Dante Wicker and 31-year-old Montoya Givens in the basement of an abandoned apartment complex in Highland Park on Thursday, according to state police and WDIV-TV. Police said it remained unclear Friday how they were killed or the motive behind their deaths.

The men were reported missing on Jan. 21 after an equipment issue prompted the abrupt cancellation of a show they were scheduled to perform at Detroit’s Lounge 31, WDIV reported. Officials said Kelly told family members that he was going to try to find another show to perform at or go see some friends before he disappeared.

“It’s our understanding that the performance got canceled, and from there — we just have a whole lot of unanswered questions that we are trying to find out,” Michael McGinnis, commander of major crimes for Detroit police, said Wednesday, according to CNN.

The building where Kelly, Wicker and Givens were found was described by police as in “very poor condition and rat (infested).” It was not immediately clear how long they were in the building.

Kelly, who performed as Marley Whoop, was engaged to be married, working and taking college classes before his death, according to The Detroit News. His finacee, Taylor Perrin, told the newspaper that he “really turned his life around” after being released early months earlier on an armed robbery charge. Perrin added that Kelly, Wicker and Givens all met in prison. Kelly and Givens were on parole at the time they went missing, The Associated Press reported.

Kelly’s mother, Lorrie Kemp, told the News that she believed police were slow to respond thoroughly to reports of the trio’s disappearance.

“I think they thought they’re disposable men,” she said.

Perrin told the newspaper that Kelly, Wicker and Givens “did their time” and they still “deserve to be seen and heard.”

“Everybody makes mistakes in life and they were charged with crimes. They did their time and that’s it,” she said, according to the News. “Armani did his time and came out as a whole new person. He knew what he did was wrong and that is not the path he wanted to travel on.”

Authorities continue to investigate.


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