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Missing woman found dead less than a mile from in-laws' home

A physically fit and smiling Leanne Bearden poses for the camera.

A Missing woman's dead body was found less than a mile away from her in-laws' home on Thursday, February 13, according to Fox News. The body recovery follows almost a month of rescue searches and fundraising efforts initiated on behalf of the family after Leanne Bearden never returned from a planned one-hour walk on January 17 at 1:00 p.m. in Garden Ridge, Texas.

A male working in the wooded area of the 21600 block area of Fairview Circle in San Antonio discovered the body, which was behind a home in the suburb area. Bearden's identification, jewelry and backpack were still at the scene, so police will likely rule out the possibility of a robbery in the mysterious disappearance and death of the married 33-year-old female.

An autopsy is being undertaken to determine the exact cause of death of the woman who had been traveling the world with her husband for two years prior to her disappearance last month.

According to My Santonio News, Greg Pyles, the CEO of Texas Search and Rescue said they were told that the family had already looked in the Fairview Circle area for their missing loved one, so that area had purposefully not been searched by professionals during their large 23-square-mile effort a week after she went missing. Now, almost a month since Leanne Bearden left her in-laws' home, her body was found in that specific area, less than a mile from her husband's parents' home.


San Antonio Police Department are remaining mum about any findings or information regarding the death of the missing woman until an autopsy can be conducted and the findings determined, according to the law enforcement agency's chief Donna O' Conner.

We will reserve any information regarding the cause of death until an autopsy has been performed," Chief Conner said.

With robbery apparently not a motive for the death of the young woman, authorities will try to rule out natural causes too. But there remains speculation that the family may have led police to believe that Bearden was suicidal, since the Denver Post reported that following the young woman's disappearance, "the San Antonio PD said on their website that they were 'very concerned' for her welfare, but did not indicate a crime had occurred."

An autopsy of the body will provide law enforcement with detailed information about any injuries sustained prior to death--even any injuries experienced over the past few months. And it will give them an exact idea of her physical health at the time of death, including existing medical conditions (or new ones that may have surfaced recently). And it can give them a portrait of the person who physically touched her that day, through the collection of DNA evidence. But it cannot give them a picture of her mental health.

But based on the reports that Leanne Bearden set out to run in the neighborhood, which was obviously a physical exercise regimen she undertook regularly, it would be unlikely she would have had some physical health issue result in her death. But anything is possible. And typically a runner is not given to periods of depression so deep they take their own lives, as endorphins are more elevated in them then the average sedentary individual. But again, one never knows what kind of stress or emotional turmoil anyone is really experiencing.

Leanne Bearden's autopsy will answer the questions of police and her family regarding her exact cause of death. And if foul play is suspected, it will hopefully lead to the successful arrest of the person responsible.

The National Criminal Profiles Examiner Radell Smith has a degree in criminal justice and behavioral forensics.

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