The search for Colorado native 33-year-old Leanne Bearden, missing since mid-January, has come to a heartbreaking end.
"Police found her ID and jewelry with a body in the woods. It was less than a mile away from where Bearden was last seen. Police say she was staying with her husband in his parents' home. Went for a walk, never came back." (Via KTVD)
Her body was found by a man working in the area — a 2.4-acre wooded lot with one nearby house. According to KENS, Bearden's body was discovered hanging from a tree.
Bearden went missing shortly after she and her husband, Joshua Bearden, returned from a two-year trip around the world. They were planning to head back to Denver soon for job interviews. (Via YouTube / GoExplore365)
According to her family, Bearden left the house with a backpack and about $60. She didn't have a cellphone with her.
JOSHUA BEARDEN: "We were sharing the one cellphone and it was one I was using for job interviews, so I had to keep it on me. ... I knew after three hours that something was really, really wrong." (Via KCNC)
The day after Bearden disappeared, her family hired a private investigator and began offering money in exchange for information leading to her location. (Via KABB)
JOSHUA BEARDEN: "Don't be scared, we're looking for you, and we're never, ever going to stop looking for you. I love you so much." (Via Fox News)
Police stopped their search less than 10 days after Bearden went missing. Because she left on her own will, authorities believed she might have run away due to stress from transitioning back from the couple's travels.
Upon learning Bearden's body had been found, her family posted a statement on Facebook: "Our family is understandably devastated by the news of the recovery of the remains of our beloved Leanne. We wish to thank the myriad of people who helped us search for Leanne and who supported us during this entire nightmare. Although this is not the outcome we had hoped for, we draw comfort and strength from the outpouring of prayers, actions, and good wishes from all."
Police have not released any information about the cause of death and will not rule out foul play until an autopsy is completed.