Woman travels world without mishap, goes missing after walk in Texas
SAN ANTONIO — She traveled the world with her husband for 22 months without major mishap, but a month after returning to the United States, Leanne Hecht Bearden is missing after she went for a walk.
A search is underway in Texas, northeast of San Antonio, for the Denver woman who took a stroll almost a week ago and never returned to her in-laws' residence where she and husband, Josh, were staying.
"While we are very concerned for Ms. Bearden's welfare, there is no indication at this time that this is criminal in nature," the Garden Ridge Police Department said in a statement.
Bearden, 33, went missing Friday in the early afternoon, and police are encouraging the public to provide any information.
While family and friends and say "police are engaged" in this case and are being "diligent in their efforts," they have decided to take the search into their own hands and have hired private helicopters to help look for Bearden.
Her brother, Michael Hecht, told CNN two helicopters searched for nearly three hours Thursday following ground searches the previous two days.
"It's baffling right now about what happened. Maybe she fell and hurt herself. You start thinking about things. I don't think she had any enemies. She is loved very much," Hecht said.
Bearden and her husband had just returned to the United States in December after spending nearly two years traveling around the world. They documented their journey in a blog. She and her husband of four years were supposed to fly to their home in Denver on Tuesday to resume job searches.
Hecht said upon returning to the United States the couple had spent a short time in Georgia, then went to Texas for a few weeks to visit Josh's family. He said they were working to find jobs in Denver, where the couple was married and had settled.
"Her poor husband is just devastated," said Hecht.
Josh Bearden told CNN affiliate KENS-TV, "She left on her own free will. That is what she did. That is absolutely true, but what happened after she left the house on her own free will I don't know."
Garden Ridge police have sent out a "Missing Person Alert." According to the department's website, they were contacted January 17 at about 5:20 p.m. when Bearden didn't return home.
Garden police said a formal search in the community will occur Saturday.
"Officials are asking that private volunteers and volunteer organizations refrain from searching this immediate area so not to interfere with the search or contaminate the area," police said Thursday. "Garden Ridge Police Department, Comal County Sheriff's Office, Comal County Constables, Schertz Police Department, Texas Rangers and Bracken First Responders will be supporting with the rescue."
Lt. Mark Reynolds of the Comal County Sheriff's Office said his agency is " assisting in any way we can" but couldn't provide details.
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