GARDEN RIDGE, Texas - The body of Leanne Hecht Bearden, a Colorado woman who went missing in south Texas nearly a month ago, was found behind a home in suburban San Antonio on Thursday afternoon, police said.
A Comal County homeowner called 911 at 12:18 p.m. to report finding a body in a wooded area behind his house, KSAT.com reported.
The body was found less than 1 mile from where the 33-year-old Bearden disappeared after going on a walk near her in-laws' Garden Ridge home on Jan. 17, the station reported.
Garden Ridge police, Comal County sheriff's deputies and Texas Rangers went to the scene and examined the body, which had some identifying jewelry as well as a backpack, Garden Ridge Police Chief Donna O'Conner said. Bearden was wearing a backpack when she left on the walk.
The deceased woman was wearing a ring that appeared identical to that of Bearden's, O'Conner said.
Police said an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause and manner of death.
After Bearden's disappearance, several police agencies and volunteers conducted searches in the area where she was last seen.
Bearden's family issued this statement on Thursday evening:
"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 helped support us throughout 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 other agencies who 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 for your continued prayers and good wishes for our family. Leanne was a lovely and remarkable young woman and we will all miss her greatly."
The woman's husband, Joshua Bearden, recently speculated that she might have run away, because she appeared "anxious" about returning home after the couple completed a two-year trip around the world.
"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," her husband Joshua Bearden told ABC News.
"She's never done anything like this before, which is really what has me scared and as far as her leaving and not coming back, that's never happened," he said.
Bearden said Leanne told him she was going for a walk near his parents' home and would be gone for an hour. Leanne never returned and Bearden says she didn't bring a cellphone and had no more than $60 in her wallet and a backpack with a few energy bars. Her credit cards had not been used.
The couple had been planning to move back to Denver after their trek around the world.