After deaths of 3 men, mother pushes for apartment building to be demolished

'Why are people still living there and why are people letting them live there?'
Posted at 10:54 PM, Mar 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 23:15:11-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The mother of one of the three men who were found dead in an abandoned Highland Park apartment building after disappearing on their way to a Detroit rap show wants the structure torn down.

The building attracts squatters, according to police, and is infested with rats.

Lorrie Kemp, the mother of Armani Kelly, is laser-focused on getting justice for her son.

He and Dante Wicker were set to perform at a rap show inside Lounge 31. The third man, Montoya Givens, was with them for support.

They went missing on Jan. 21. Their bodies turned up on the night of Feb. 2 inside an abandoned apartment building in Highland Park located at 2025 W. McNicholds Road.

Michigan State Police said they had been shot multiples times.

The building also has a major rat problem. Police said that is part of the reason it took so long to identify the three bodies.

"It is a condemned building and it has squatters and it has electricity. Why are people still living there and why are people letting them live there?" Kemp asked.

7 Action News went looking for those answers on the Wayne County Register of Deeds website. Ace Investment Group is listed as the current owner.

We spoke to somebody with the company over the phone who says they sold the property on Dec. 8, 2013 but wouldn't say to who. He also wouldn't give us his name.

"I've been calling the person who owns it. I called the people that supposedly have taken it over, but they say they didn't. I've called the assessor's office," Kemp said.

We did a deeper public records search and found Palmer Park Estates and Friedman Management Company listed with the building's address. It shows Palmer Park Estates owes more than $11,000 in utilities, which was due on March 10.

"To me, it holds souls — souls of people who had no rhyme or reason to be dead. They had their whole life ahead of them," Kemp said.

The city of Highland Park told us the building is privately owned but would not say by who.

Palmer Park Estates is listed as another apartment building and not a business. We tried calling, but the number was disconnected.

So for now, the owner and manager of the building is still a mystery.

"A village brought me to him and found his body and a village will find the way to help me get that building condemned, get that lounge shut down for life and also to find the people who did this."

MSP says the three men's disappearances and murders are still under investigation and no arrests have made.