Arrested for open murder

Grand Rapids man arrested in Lake County homicide case

LAKE COUNTY — A Grand Rapids man has been arrested in the murder of a Big Rapids man, whose body was found roadside last summer in Baldwin.

Arthur Leon Jones, 34, was arrested and charged with open murder Wednesday following a grand jury indictment in Lake County. He is held without bond in Lake County Jail.

The arrest warrant was executed by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police Fugitive Team and Reed City detachment office.

Andrew Jerome Smith, 31, of Big Rapids, was found dead of a gunshot wound on the side of 72nd Street in Baldwin, about 100 yards east of Foreman Road, at about 7:58 a.m. on July 23.

At the time, Lake County Sheriff Robert Hilts said Smith had friends in the area and made visits to Baldwin from time to time, but investigators were unsure why he was in the area at the time of his death.

Hilts was unavailable for comment on Thursday. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office would not release a mug shot of Jones.

On Thursday, Michigan State Police Det. Sgt. George Pratt said police believe both Smith and Jones were in Baldwin for Trout-a-Rama.

“There’s a lot of people who come up for it who were previous residents or who were born and raised in the area,” Pratt said, declining further comment on the men’s connection to the area.

Because of the restrictions of the grand jury indictment, Pratt also could not comment on what evidence led to the arrest.