Autopsy: Killer of ex-teacher from GR died from cancer

Grand Rapids
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP/WOOD) — An autopsy has determined that a man who pleaded guilty to the murder of a pregnant mom who taught in Grand Rapids died of cancer while in jail.

St. Joseph County Deputy Coroner Mike Samp gave an update Thursday to the South Bend Tribune on the investigation into 78-year-old George Kearney’s death at the St. Joseph County Jail.

Kearney died before a scheduled sentencing hearing in March. Prosecutors at the time said Kearney was terminally ill. Shortly after his death a judge accepted Kearney’s plea and convicted him.

Kearney admitted to the beating death of Miriam Rice. The 28-year-old mother was a teacher at Immaculate Heart of Mary School before she moved to South Bend, Indiana, where she was killed.

Rice was abducted June 24, 1988, while walking her dog in a park.

Kearney’s former girlfriend, 56-year-old Barbara Brewster, also was charged with murder and is awaiting trial.

Kearney and Brewster said they were camping with Brewster’s three children at the time of the murder. Brewster’s eldest son, who was 6 at the time, said he witnessed the killing.

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Information from:

South Bend Tribune

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