Body of missing world traveler found in Texas, family says

Published February 14, 2014

| FoxNews.com

The family of a Colorado woman who disappeared after returning home from a trip around the world with her husband says her body has been found in suburban San Antonio.

On Thursday, Garden Ridge police said they believed the body found was 33-year-old Leanne Bearden, but would not confirm what Bearden’s family claimed.

Bearden's family issued a statement late Thursday on a Facebook page they had set up in the search for her.

"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," the statement read. "We ask your continued prayers and good wishes for our family. Leanne was a lovely and remarkable young woman, and we will all miss her greatly."

Police said Bearden's jewelry and her ID were found with the body, which was located in a wooded area less than a mile away from where she was last seen on Jan. 17, according to Fox 29. Officials said a man working in the area spotted the body Thursday and called police. The homeowners on the property declined to speak to the media.

No other details were released on the discovery, including whether the death is being investigated as a suicide, homicide or accident, according to the report.

"Upon arrival, Sgt. Bellinger and I located what we believe to be the body of Leanne Bearden,” Garden Ridge Police Chief Donna O'Conner said at a news conference. “We will reserve any information regarding the cause of death until an autopsy has been performed.”

Bearden had been traveling the world for the past two years with her husband Josh, which was chronicled in a blog she wrote. She and her husband are from the Denver area and had been staying at his parents' home in Garden Ridge, Texas, when they returned to the U.S.

She was last seen when she left her in-laws' home for a walk.

More than 100 volunteers from Texas Search and Rescue, the Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment and other agencies launched a massive search effort after Bearden was reported missing. The FBI and several family members and friends also assisted in the search.

Greg Pyles, CEO of Texas Search and Rescue, told the San Antonio Express-News that the area where the body was found was not included in the 23-square-mile search that the organization participated in on Jan. 25. He said the searchers believed the neighborhood was already covered by the family.

The family thanked the law enforcement officials that participated in the search and members of the media for helping to publicize search efforts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/02/14/body-believed-to-be-missing-world-traveler-found-in-texas-authorities-say/