Felon returns to prison for concealing woman's heroin overdose death

Overdose death sentence

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A paroled felon who was with a young woman when she died from a heroin overdose behind a Grand Rapids apartment complex is heading back to prison for concealing her death.

Todd Allen Stearns was present when the 19-year-old woman overdosed near Soft Water Lake west of Plainfield Avenue NE back in May.

The victim, identified as Jessica Danielle Bailey, was a 2016 graduate of Greenville High School who participated in orchestra and drama. 

Stearns, 30, who left in the woman’s vehicle, was arrested the next day about three miles from where her body was found.

Stearns this week was sentenced to between three and 10 years in prison. Although concealing the death of an individual is a five-year offense, his sentence was increased because of prior felony convictions.

As part of a plea deal, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office in October dismissed a charge of possession of heroin stemming from the same incident behind Lake Forest Apartments overlooking Soft Water Lake.

Grand Rapids police were called to the area the afternoon of May 22 on a report of a dead woman. There was no sign of foul play, but the woman’s vehicle was missing.

Police caught up with Stearns the next day. He was arrested near Leonard Street and Ball Avenue NE following a two-hour manhunt.

Stearns was released from prison last year after serving time for a June, 2005 armed robbery and kidnapping in Washtenaw County.  He was living on the Northeast Side at the time of his arrest.

Stearns on Thursday was transferred to the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections to begin serving his prison term.

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