Tragedy as wife who vanished after taking a stroll near her home when she returned from a two-year world-trip is found DEAD in Texas woods
- Body believed to be that of Leanne Bearden, 33, was found Thursday not far from her in-laws’ home in Garden Ridge
- Bearden was last seen alive on January 17 when she said she was going for a walk, planning to return in an hour
- She and her husband Joshua Bearden had just returned from a two-year world trip
- They were staying with Joshua Bearden’s parents before returning to their home in Denver to find work
- Searches of the Garden Ridge area have turned up no sign of the marketing graduate
By Snejana Farberov DAILY MAIL PUBLISHED: 14 February 2014
Law enforcement officials in Texas announced this evening that they found a body believed to be that of a woman who went missing nearly a month ago after returning from a two-year trip around the world.
Leanne Hecht Bearden, 33, was last seen January 17 when she told her in-laws in Garden Ridge near San Antonio that she was going for a walk. She has not been heard from since.
The woman and her husband, Joshua Bearden, were staying with his parents after returning from their travels earlier this month.
Tragic end: Police in Texas believe they found the body of Leanne Hecht Bearden, who went for a walk January 17 and never returned
Post-mortem: An autopsy will be performed to determine Leanne Bearden’s exact cause of death
City Police Chief Donna O’Conner said just after 1pm Thursday, they received a call from a Garden Ridge homeowner saying that he had found a body in a wooded area near his residence, CNN reported.
Officers who responded to the scene came upon what is now believed to be Leanne Bearden’s body.
Police are not disclosing the cause of death pending the results of the autopsy that will be performed on the remains.
In a statement posted Thursday evening on a Facebook page devoted to finding Bearden, her devastated family confirmed the heartbreaking news reports.
‘Leanne was a lovely and remarkable young woman, and we will all miss her greatly,’ the post read.
The 33-year-old’s relatives thanked the law enforcement officials and volunteers who helped search for Bearden, as well as the thousands of well-wishers who have been praying for her safe return.
In an earlier post on the Facebook page, her relatives had suggested that the 33-year-old woman may have left on her on accord because she was struggling to adjust to life in the U.S.
‘The pressure of transitioning from her two year trip back into what we consider “normal” life seems to have left her very anxious and stressed,’ the statement read. ‘As a result of this investigation there is evidence that Leanne may have voluntarily left the area, and we understand this is a strong possibility.’
The local police, sheriff’s deputies, the Texas Rangers, a group of friends and volunteers had spent the past month scouring Garden Ridge and its vicinity in search of Bearden, but to no avail, the station KENS5 reported.
The theory that the 33-year-old globetrotter took off voluntarily has been supported by evidence found on her computers by private investigator Charlie Parker.
Happier times: Leanne and Josh pictured on their wedding day four years ago
Cracked under pressure? Bearden’s family said the women may have left on her on because she could not handle the stress of adjusting to a normal life in the United States after her travels
Clues: Police and a private investigator found evidence on Bearden’s computer suggesting that she had left voluntarily
Garden Ridge police reached a similar conclusion, adding that they have found nothing to suggest that Bearden was the victim of a foul play.
Her husband, Josh Bearden, said that while his wife is fit and athletic, she is small in stature.
The fear is that the woman may have been bitten by a snake or got injured.
‘Her mental and physical status is uncertain. We fear for her greatly,’ her relatives said. ‘If Leanne has indeed fled the area, she is extremely vulnerable. She left with only a few assets and is traveling very light.’
Two weeks ago, Mr Bearden offered a message of hope for his missing wife.
Heartbroken: Joshua Bearden says he will hold out hope for as long as it takes to find his wife Leanne, who disappeared without a trace right after they arrived back in the U.S. following a world tour
‘Baby, don’t be scared. We’re looking for you. And we’re never ever going to stop looking for you,’ Joshua Bearden told Leanne through a TV camera lens.
Bearden was speaking out in hopes continued public interest in his wife’s strange disappearance would help his cause, since police have now called off the official search.
‘As far as any sort of search in the area, we’re on our own on that,’ he said on Fox & Friends, one of several interviews he’s now done. ‘If you see Leanne, let somebody know. Call the police. If you live in the area… could you do me a favor and check out your property and see if there is anything unusual out there?’
‘The second I lose my hope, Leanne is gone,’ he told KSAT. ‘My biggest fear is that I lose hope.’
Adventurous: Bearden and her husband has just returned from a trip around the world visiting 56 counties in 22 months
Leanne Hecht Bearden and her husband Joshua traveled the world for 22 months without a mishap but after returning to the U.S. Leanne Bearden has gone missing.
The couple was staying with Joshua Bearden’s parents near San Antonio last week after returning from their trip abroad when she went out for a walk and never returned.
Bearden, a marketing graduate, left the house in Garden Ridge on January 17 wearing jeans and hiking boots and carrying about $60 in cash and some credit cards.
She also had a red backpack with her that reportedly contained several energy bars.
‘We’re very concerned,’ Bearden’s brother Michael Hecht told WSBTV.
‘She left of her own free will to go for a walk and that’s all we know. We’re wondering what’s happened. Maybe she went for a hike, saw a nice place somewhere she could hike and maybe is hurt, or has fallen over. We don’t know.’
The couple had intended to stay briefly in Texas before flying to their home in Denver to begin searching for work.
According to CNN, the couple has been married for four years.
No clues: Bearden’s family have had no word from her since she went missing
‘Her husband is devastated right now and is extremely worried. We’re just trying to help out the Police Department as much as we can canvassing the area, even going father out than we think she may be. But we have absolutely no idea where she is,’ Hecht told WBSTV.
According to My San Antonio, Bearden was planning to return to the home within an hour in order to take a phone call about a job in Denver.
She was reported missing by her husband after she had been gone about four hours. At about that time, Bearden’s parents returned home from an out-of-town trip.
‘We could draw up scenarios that range from the sublime to the ridiculous,’ Will Bearden told My San Antonio. ‘I just stick with what we know. What we know is she was seen leaving our house Friday, and no one has seen her since.’
Right now police say there is ‘no indication at this time that this is criminal in nature.’
Family friend Chris Busch told the Huffington Post that all leads are being followed.
‘The area out there is surrounded by very rocky and rugged terrain,’ Busch told The Huffington Post. ‘There are caves, cliffs and all sorts of other things.’
‘The options go from a twisted ankle to a snake bite,’ he said.
‘Is it possible she was abducted? Yeah. There were two attacks on women recently in the area. The police are looking into those. From our standpoint, we are just out there trying to cover as much ground as possible.’
Searching: Police say there is no indication that anything criminal has befallen Bearden
New life: Bearden and her husband were planning to return to their home in Denver and find work after their big trip
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2559118/Leann-Bearden-vanished-month-ago-returning-U-S-two-year-trip-world-DEAD-Texas-woods.html#ixzz2tIGx8Ppi
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