Leanne Bearden: Remembering missing Denver woman who took her own life
Update: Earlier this month, we told you about the search for Leanne Bearden, a Denver woman who had disappeared in Texas after returning from a two-year-long trip around the world with her husband. See our previous coverage below. Unfortunately, the story's sad ending is told by an event tomorrow in Texas: a memorial service scheduled after the discovery that she had taken her own life. However, a future get-together in the Denver area will endeavor to celebrate Bearden's spirit, not just mourn her loss. Continue for photos, video and details.
Photos, video and more below.
As we've reported, Bearden and her husband, Joshua, got back from the globetrotting journey in January. But before heading home to Colorado, they stopped at his family's home in Garden Ridge, Texas. On January 17, Leanne left for a walk and never returned.
Bearden in a photo from her vacation.
Before long, the story of Bearden's mysterious disappearance went national, with plenty of major media outlets putting out alerts about her. But at the time of our post, her loved ones were actively acknowledging that she appeared to have vanished by her own choice.
Then, last week, a terrible development: Bearden's body was found only blocks away from her in-laws' home. By the weekend, preliminary autopsy results were in: CNN notes they indicated "asphyxiation by hanging." She had been found attached to a tree by a rope.
Bearden's Facebook page was quickly transformed into an online memorial. Here's a sampling of messages:
The spot where Bearden's body was found.
What a bright and encouraging spirit you had, Leanne. No one could come into contact with you and not smile. My prayers remain with you as you fly among the angels in a happier place. You are greatly missed, but you will never be forgotten.A memorial service for Bearden is slated to take place at 2 p.m. tomorrow, February 22, at Northeast Bible Church in San Antonio, Texas. But those who loved Bearden here in Colorado will have another way to mark her passing.
All the love you gave is returned to you 100 fold -- surrounding you and yours today and always.
God Bless you sweet girl!!!
The Leanne Bearden 5K and Balloon Release will take place on Sunday, March 9 at a Denver location that's yet to be determined.
A photo shared on both Bearden's Facebook address and the Facebook event page for the memorial run.
The page's organizer notes, "I am honored that Leanne's family has asked us to honor Leanne's life" via the event, which had originally been planned as a fundraiser to help continue the search for her. The hope is that the gathering will be "a wonderful, respectful celebration & memorial service for all the friends and family our friend Leanne Hecht Bearden touched with her beautiful spirit throughout her life."
For more information about the event, click here. In the meantime, our sincere condolences to Bearden's friends, family and loved ones.
Here's a report from Texas-based KENS-TV about the discovery of her body.
Continue for our previous coverage about the search for Leanne Bearden.