SAN ANTONIO — Garden Ridge Police found Leanne Bearden‘s body Thursday less than a mile from a home where the 33-year-old was last seen in January, officials said.
The body was found in a wooded area behind a home in the 21600 block of Fairview Circle in the San Antonio suburb, a few blocks from where Bearden was last seen walking Jan. 17, police said at a press conference.
A man working in the area spotted the body and called police at 12:18 p.m., officials said. A backpack, jewelry belonging to Bearden and her ID were found with the body, police said.
“Upon arrival, Sgt. Bellinger and I located what we believe to be the body of Leanne Bearden,” said Donna O’Conner, the chief of the Garden Ridge Police Department. “We will reserve any information regarding the cause of death until an autopsy has been performed.”
No other details on how Bearden died have been released, including whether it’s being investigated as a suicide, homicide or accident.
Late Thursday, the family issued a statement.
“Although this is not the outcome we had hoped for, we draw comfort and support from the outpouring of prayers, actions and good wishes from all, including over 20,000 Facebook friends,” said her father-in-law Will Bearden.
Greg Pyles, CEO of Texas Search and Rescue, said the area that Bearden’s body was found was not included in a large scale, 23-square-mile search that took place in Garden Ridge Jan. 25. Pyles said the body was found in a neighborhood that searchers understood had already been covered by the family.
Jay Hamm, 77, who lives across the street from where the body was found, said Bearden’s family came searching in the area the day after she went missing. He said he wasn’t sure if other searches covered the area.
“It’s always been quiet out here,” said Hamm, who’s lived here for over 30 years.
The property where the body was found Thursday afternoon is a 2.4-acre lot, Comal County records show. Satellite photos show the property includes a house and is partially wooded.
The homeowners declined to speak to the media.
More than 100 volunteers from Texas Search and Rescue and the Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment joined the massive search, along with some four dozen law enforcement officials from Comal County, the Department of Public Safety, the Texas Rangers and the FBI, among others.
Texas Rangers and the Comal County Sheriff Department assisted the Garden Ridge police in the search.
The family said Bearden disappeared after leaving for a one-hour walk with only a backpack from her husband’s parents’ home. Extensive searches of the area turned up nothing. Sightings were reported in Austin, Laredo and Houston during the last month.
Bearden and her husband, Josh, had recently returned to the country after a two year trip around the world. The couple was staying with Josh Bearden’s parents in Garden Ridge.
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