Three Michigan men found dead in a vacant apartment building last week were shot to death, Michigan State Police said Tuesday, revealing a cause of death and hinting at more developments to come in the mysterious case.
The three men, rap artists Armani Kelly, 27, Dante Wicker, 31, and Montoya Givens, 31, had been missing since the evening of Jan. 21. Their bodies were found February 2.
Kelly, whose stage name as a rapper was “Marley Whoop,” and Wicker, known as “B12,” were set to perform hip-hop sets at the east-side Detroit club Lounge 31 on Jan. 21. Givens, nicknamed “Jugg,” tagged along. Their performances, however, were canceled because of technical failures with the club’s DJ equipment, and then their families stopped hearing from them, leading to a widespread search.
Their bodies were found by Detroit police nearly two weeks later, buried under debris in the basement of an abandoned, rat-infested Highland Park apartment building.
“This was not a random incident. The investigation is continuing and detectives are making progress and we believe we may have determined a motive,” Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said Tuesday.
Investigators have characterized the case as alarming, rare and difficult. All activity from their cellphones and social media accounts halted the evening they went missing, and there were no early indications of a motive. The bodies were frozen when they were found, delaying identification and autopsies.
Shaw said Tuesday each of the men suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
The car Kelly drove from Oscoda to Detroit was found in Warren after Kelly’s family reported him missing on Jan. 23. A juvenile was arrested in connection with the vehicle’s theft and charged with receiving and concealing stolen property, according to Warren police.
There have been no charges issued in the three killings.
Online fundraising pages have been established via gofundme.com to help the families of Givens, Wicker and Kelly pay for memorial services.
Andrea Sahouri covers criminal justice for the Detroit Free Press. She can be contacted at 313-264-0442, email@example.com or on Twitter @andreamsahouri.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK: Cause of death confirmed for three rappers who went missing in Mich.