WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — Court documents about a woman found dead in a wooded area in Walker outline a person who allegedly struggled with drug abuse and felt threatened by her son’s father.
The body of the woman, tentatively identified as 39-year-old Kristin Sidlauskas of Grand Rapids by the Walker Police Department, was discovered off Hillside Drive NW near I-96 on Saturday evening. Police say they are treating the case as a homicide.
There was no obvious cause of death, but Sidlauskas’ body may have been there for days or weeks before being discovered.
According to court documents, Sidlauskas filed a personal protection order last year against the father of her fourth child, saying that he had threatened to kill her and had abused her in the past.
“He is currently threatening to ‘get me back’ for breaking up with him,” she wrote on the PPO. She also wrote he had “threatened to kill me or ‘beat the s***’ out of me.”
The PPO also said he had been abusive previously, shaking her and leaving bruises.
Sidlauskas had three other children with a different man. All three live with him.
Michigan’s Children’s Protective Services had also opened an abuse/neglect case in reference to her fourth child just weeks before her body was discovered. Documents in that petition said she allegedly admitted to a CPS worker she “used heroin on a regular basis.” The petition outlines several times when CPS workers asked her to take a drug test and she refused because her “attorney advised her not to do any drug screens.”
Documents show she voluntarily gave her son to friends to be cared for before the state decided that her son should be removed from her custody.
Court documents say Sidlauskas was homeless at time of her death, but Walker Director of Public Safety Catherine Garcia-Lindstrom said she had been staying at an area hotel.
Garcia-Lindstrom said police don’t know how long Sidlauskas’ remains were in the wooded area. The department does not believe her death was a random incident.
“I don’t believe so. We’re not renowned for having tons of incidents along these lines. This is a unique situation,” Garcia-Lindstrom said.
Just a few years ago, Sidlauskas was a dedicated teacher in the Charlevoix Public School District. 24 Hour News 8 spoke to her former boss, Chet Janik, who described a single mom who went back to school later in life to become a teacher and worked at his district for two years until she was laid off because of budget cuts.
“She had a unique gift of connecting with students who maybe did not connect with other teachers,” Janik said. “I know that she was quite well-liked by her students, so it was quite a shock to hear she had passed away.”
Anyone with information about Sidlauskas’ death is asked to call Walker police at 616.453.5441 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.