Sex Offender Connected to April Millsap Arrested on Drug Charges

By McCarton Ackerman 08/04/14

James VanCallis and his son had their home searched in connection to the murder, but their status as suspects remains unclear.

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A convicted sex offender was arrested this week on marijuana charges, but it’s possible that he was also involved in the death of a teenage girl.

The body of April Millsap, 14, was found just off a nature trail in the town of Armada, a suburb of Detroit. She reportedly sent a text message to her boyfriend on the night of her death which read, “Omg. Wtf. I think I’m being kidnapped.” Police confirmed that James VanCallis, 66, and his son were arrested last Wednesday on marijuana charges.

A neighbor said that both the FBI and Michigan State Police took “bags of stuff” out of the apartment, but wouldn’t specify what those contents were. VanCallis was previously 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.

A judge set bond at $75,000 and ordered both men to wear GPS tethers while police executed the search warrant for their home in relation to Millsap's murder. When facing the judge, the older VanCallis told the judge, "I love my dogs. I just wanna go home to my dogs. I didn't do nothing."

Although the investigation is still ongoing, police have ruled Millsap’s death as a homicide and don’t believe her family was involved in any way. They are allegedly "zeroing in" on a suspect, though it remains unclear whether VanCallis or his son are suspects.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.