Rapper who grew up in Lansing one of 3 reported missing in Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. (WLNS) -Armani Kelly, a rapper who grew up in Lansing that is known by his stage name “Marley Whoop,” is one of three men who have been missing since Jan. 21.

Detroit Police say Kelly, 27; Montoya Givens, 31; and Dante Wicker, 31; are all associates who were supposed to go perform at a club in Detroit called Lounge 31. Police say at some point, the performance got cancelled.

Kelly’s mother tells 6 News she got a voicemail from him that said he made it down safely to Detroit at 5 p.m. on Jan. 21.

After that, there are a lot of questions, Detroit Police said.

Detroit Police, Melvindale Police, Warren Police, and Oscoda Police are all taking part in the investigation, said Michael McGinnis, commander of major crimes with the Detroit Police Department.

“It’s very extraordinary circumstances,” McGinnis said.

There have been dozens of posts all over Facebook and TikTok about Kelly being missing. He left the home he and his mother share in Oscoda on Jan. 21.

His mother, Lorrie Kemp, told 6 News his phone started going right to voicemail that night, and she knew something was wrong. She hasn’t heard from him since his voicemail on Jan. 21.

Kemp made the report the next day and became very proactive in the investigation, police said. The car was eventually found on Jan. 23 in Warren, two days after the men were last heard from.

On Jan. 27, it started being reported in the media that Kelly was missing, Detroit Police said. At that point, family members of Givens and Wicker figured out that Kelly was a friend of their loved ones, and they hadn’t seen them either. That’s when the other two men were reported missing.

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Police said they have not been able to confirm that the men made it to the bar.

“I’ve been listening more and more to all that music. It breaks my heart because there are subliminal messages in it. That my momma worked hard. And that we lived off Turner and Fairfield. I mean he grew up here. This is our hometown,” Kemp said of Lansing.

On Monday, Kemp and Kelly’s fiancé, Taylor Perrin, came to Lansing to pass out flyers. It’s the place Kelly called home before serving eight years in prison.

“Something is just keeping my hope alive,” said Perrin. “I’m not gonna believe it until I see it. I won’t. I’m supposed to marry this man, and I won’t let him go until he’s gone.”

Detroit’s missing person homicide unit is now working the case.

“We will leverage all of our technology assets,” McGinnis said. “We’ve got license plate readers, we’ve got green light cameras, and I’m confident that using those tools, will help us.”

As for Kemp, she’s hoping coming to Lansing on Monday will help her get closer to having closure.

“I’m off my rocker,” McGinnis said. “I don’t know what to do. All I want for them to do is give me his body so we can lay him to rest.”

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