Lee’s Summit police say murder suspect sought in overdose death is under arrest

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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — Less than a day after police asked for the public’s help in catching a fugitive wanted for murder, they say that 28-year-old Jared Daniels is under arrest. Jackson County prosecutors charged Daniels last week with second-degree murder in the March drug overdose death of 23-year-old Taylor Stephens.

Court documents say on March 28 police and emergency crews responded to a home where they found Stephens unresponsive in a bathtub. She was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.


Officers investigating the home found a syringe, rubber tourniquet and a syringe cap in the bathroom. Stephens was a known heroin user and investigators suspect she used the syringe to inject heroin.

In April, a detective spoke with someone who wanted to provide information about Daniels, who was selling heroin in the Lee’s Summit area. That person said Stephens was one of several who obtained heroin from Daniels.

Police arrested him on April 9 for driving with a suspended license and officers say they found him with heroin, pills of a controlled substance and other drug paraphernalia. Daniels admitted to supplying heroin to others as a means to keep himself supplied with it. Daniels said he knew Stephens and had supplied her with heroin.

Daniels said he took Stephens to Walmart on the day she died and that her condition didn’t concern him. He told investigators that “she didn’t look like she was about to croak or nothing.” He also said, “well, I know for a fact that what I got and what I handed over isn’t what put her down.”

An April medical report showed Stephens cause of death to be “drowning, with other significant condition to be acute heroin and fentanyl intoxication.”

Documents say that since the cause of Stephens’ death was listed to be a significant condition of acute heroin and fentanyl intoxication and Daniels delivered it to Stephens on the date of her death, his actions directly contributed to her death. In addition to second-degree murder, he also faces a felony for delivery of a controlled substance.

Prosecutors have requested a $250,000 bond. They said this is the first case of this type where a drug dealer is charged in connection with a death from overdose.

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