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Police are investigating the shooting death of a Michigan teenager whose body turned up in a Detroit apartment building’s basement over the weekend.
Jacob Hills, 18, was found dead in an apartment complex in the early morning hours of Sunday after attending a party on Saturday, his family said. He’d been shot several times. No arrests have been made in the teen’s apparent slaying.
“Without hindering the investigation, we know that the victim was interested in purchasing a firearm,” Detroit Police Commander Michael McGinnis said during a press conference on Monday, Fox News reported. “Whether that was in the area he lived or in this area — don't want to get into that level of detail at this time. I know for certain he was here for a party. What occurred from that point until where we are now, these are the answers we need to get for the family."
Hills’ parents used a mobile app to track the whereabouts of their son’s cell phone on Sunday after he didn’t return home after Saturday night, according to the Detroit News. The tracking app led them from their home in Grand Blanc to Hills’ unlocked and abandoned car in the parking lot of a Dearborn Heights hookah lounge, 55 miles south. They later reported their son missing to police.
The teen’s father received an anonymous phone call later on Sunday stating his son was in the basement of an apartment building on Warren Avenue in Detroit, police said — more than 10 miles east of where his parents found his car and cell phone. Detectives later located Hills’ remains at the location.
"They found my son in a pool of blood,” Sadie Hills told Detroit television station WXYZ-TV. “They stole his shoes off of his feet.”
"His life was cut short, and our detectives are working diligently to identify the offender in this case and bring justice to the family," McGinnis added.
Authorities haven’t specified whether they’ve identified any people of interest or suspects in the case. An exact motive hasn’t been released either.
Hill’s family, however, believes the teenager was lured to a party by an acquaintance and then robbed on the night he died.
They say that Hills, a recent high school graduate, had both flaunted a stack of graduation cash on social media and purchased a brand new AR-15 shortly before his death. The firearm, which he had taken to a shooting range directly before going to the party on Saturday night, wasn’t located with Hills’ body or in his car, according to loved ones.
Sadie Hills has told reporters that her son picked up a 17-year-old boy from Oxford — which is 25 miles east of Grand Blanc — after going to the shooting range and drove him to a party. She said her son had attended an Airbnb party in Royal Oak — 50 miles south of their home — on Friday night and reconnected with the Oxford boy, who'd been a childhood friend. She said that friend introduced him to the people he’d been socializing with the night he was fatally shot.
"He made a real bad choice to hang out with somebody he thought was a friend," Sadie Hills also told the Detroit News.
A vigil was held for the 18-year-old on July 25.
"He would do anything and everything for anybody at any time,” Sadie Hills added. “It did not matter.”
Hills graduated from Grand Blanc High School in June. He was enlisted in the Army National Guard, where he was slated to begin boot camp in approximately two weeks time. His family said he purchased the AR-15 rifle to prepare for the upcoming boot camp.
"Jacob graduated with honors in the class of 2022 and his intention was to enter military service with the National Guard," the district said in a statement. "We shared in Jacob’s pride in his commitment to serve.”
No further details were released by authorities. A spokesperson for the Detroit Police Department didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment on the open investigation on Wednesday morning.
Anyone with additional information is urged to contact Detroit Police homicide investigators by calling 313-596-2260.
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