Man wanted in connection to death investigation in custody

Grand Rapids police in the parking lot of GRPS University on the city's northeast side on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A 30-year-old man has been taken into custody in connection to a death investigation following a search on Grand Rapids’ northeast side Tuesday.

Family members identified the woman found dead behind the Lake Forest Apartments complex on Monday as 19-year-old Jessica Bailey. Police said there are no signs of foul play and the man is not a suspect in her death. However, they wanted to find him because they said he took Bailey’s car from the scene.

An undated courtesy photo of Jessica Bailey.

The man, who is only being called a person of interest in the case, was seen around 12:20 p.m. Tuesday running behind the Arby’s in the 1200 block of Leonard Street NE. That sparked an all-out manhunt, which forced temporary lockdowns at some nearby schools, police said.

Two hours later, the man was found inside Bailey’s vehicle near Leonard Street and Ball Avenue NE, where he was taken into custody without incident.

GRPD Sgt. Terry Dixon said the man is also a parole absconder. Investigators are now trying to figure out what he knows about Bailey’s death.

“We believe that he had taken the vehicle. He was in the vehicle and had taken it from the scene. But we are still looking into the specifics regarding whether he was there, what was his role, the whole thing,” Dixon said Tuesday afternoon.

Police have not yet released the name of the man taken into custody. They also haven’t said exactly how he knew Bailey — or why he was on parole in the first place.

24 Hour News 8 spoke with Bailey’s father Tuesday afternoon, who was heartbroken over the loss of his daughter. He said she was loving, caring and a talented violinist.

Investigators are awaiting toxicology results to determine exactly how Bailey died.

GRPD’s Major Case Team is investigating the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616.456.3604 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.