Paroled felon charged with concealing overdose death of Grand Rapids woman

A man with a criminal past is facing charges today related to the overdose death of a 19-year-old woman in Kent County.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A paroled felon linked to the fatal overdose of a 19-year-old woman in Grand Rapids faces two felony charges related to her May 22 death.

Police say Todd Allen Stearns was present when the woman overdosed on heroin near Soft Water Lake west of Plainfield Avenue NE.

He was arrested the next day after police found him in the woman’s vehicle.

Stearns, who was released from prison last year, is charged with concealing the death of an individual. The rarely-used felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.

The victim, identified as Jessica Danielle Bailey, was a 2016 graduate of Greenville High School.

“We believe he was present when the victim injected the heroin; he knew about her death but didn’t report it,’’ Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Terry Dixon said.

Stearns, 30, waived a probable cause hearing Tuesday, June 20 in Grand Rapids District Court, sending the criminal case to circuit court.

He also faces a charge of possession of heroin stemming from the same incident behind Lake Forest Apartments overlooking Soft Water Lake. That charge is punishable by up to four years in prison.

Stearns, who has an address on Sweet Street NE, was paroled in Jan. 2016 after serving time for a June, 2005 armed robbery and kidnapping in Wasthenaw County.

Grand Rapids police were called to the area of Soft Water Lake about 4:31 p.m. on May 22 on a report of a dead woman. There were no signs of foul play, but the woman’s vehicle was missing. Investigators learned that Stearns, who knew the woman, might have her car.

On May 23, he was seen running behind a fast food restaurant on Leonard Street near Fuller Avenue NE. Police established a large perimeter in their search for the man. He was arrested two hours later near Leonard Street and Ball Avenue NE.

Bailey is one of 41 people to die from a drug overdose in Kent County this year. She participated in orchestra and drama while in high school, according to her obituary. Bailey was also a member of the St. Cecilia Youth Symphony in Grand Rapids.

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