The body of world traveler Leanne Hecht Bearden was found Thursday in Texas, not far from where the missing woman was last seen alive in January.
Bearden and her husband ran the travel blog GoExplore365.com. The couple, who lived in Colorado, recently returned from a trip around the world.
After nearly a month of hoping that Bearden would be found alive, authorities discovered the 33-year-old’s body in Garden Ridge, Texas, not far from her in-laws’ house, where she was last seen before going out for a jog, according to CNN. A Facebook page created to share information on her disappearance acknowledged that her body was found and thanked volunteers for their efforts in searching for the missing woman.
“Our family is understandably devastated by the news of the recovery of the remains of our beloved Leanne,” the Bearden family said in a statement posted to the Facebook page Thursday night. “We wish to thank the myriad of people who helped us search for Leanne and who supported us during this entire nightmare. We also wish to thank the members of the media who helped us tell our story. We thank the Garden Ridge Police Department and the other many agencies that provided such caring service to us. We especially thank the Heidi Search Center for their wonderful help and support. 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, including over 20,000 Facebook friends. 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.”
Garden Ridge Police Chief Donna O’Conner said the body was found Thursday afternoon.
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“We were dispatched at 12:18 p.m. to a 911 call from a citizen who stated he had found a body in a wooded area behind his home,” she said, according to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. “We believed the body to be that of a female. … We found what we believe to be the body of Leanne Bearden.”
O’Conner said an autopsy on Bearden’s body will determine her cause of death. She said foul play wouldn’t be ruled out until the autopsy is performed, according to the Denver Post.
Leanne and Josh Bearden documented their travels around the world on GoExplore365.com. The trip took 22 months as the couple explored India, Mount Kilimanjaro, Egypt, the Baltics, Rome, Bolivia and beyond.
Josh Bearden said the stress from returning home may have been a factor in his wife’s disappearance.
"She was having some difficulties adjusting back to life in the United States after being on the road and she was talking to some of her friends and they had also done similar things like that," he told ABC News earlier this month. “"Traveling around the world and seeing all these things and then coming back -- obviously she was anxious. I think anybody would be anxious in that situation.”