2-year world trek ends tragically for former Roswell resident

Leanne Hecht Bearden, apparent suicide, found near in-laws’ home in Texas

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The death of Leanne Hecht Bearden, 33, a graduate of Roswell High School, has been ruled a suicide by Garden Ridge Police, a suburb of San Antonio, Texas.

Her death left family and friends “devastated” and wondering why a woman who seemed to get so much out of life would end her own.

The woman had been visiting her in-laws and was last seen Jan. 17 when she left their house to go for a walk. The cause of death has been ruled asphyxiation by hanging.

She and her husband Josh Bearden had recently returned from a two-year jaunt around the world that included visits to Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. Exotic locations included China, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, Rwanda, Ukraine and Bolivia. The Bearden’s blog indicates they visited a base camp at Mt. Everest, the Dead Sea, Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Africa’s Serengeti Plain.

Yet in a Facebook page dedicated to finding Bearden, the family described the 5-foot 3-inch woman as “extremely vulnerable” and “her mental and physical status is uncertain.”

Authorities suggest Bearden may have had trouble re-adjusting to “normal life” when the couple returned to their Colorado home. During the couple’s visit to Bearden’s in-laws, Bearden simply disappeared after saying she was going for an hour’s walk.

Her body was found a week later in some woods near the home where she was staying. Toxicology and forensic reports are still pending, but police say all evidence points to suicide.

A Facebook page post from the family stated, “Leanne was a lovely and remarkable young woman, and we will all miss her greatly.”

RN-02-19-14