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'Strong Possibility' Missing Roswell Native Left Voluntarily

Roswell High School graduate Leanne Hecht Bearden went missing on Jan. 17 in Glen Ridge, Texas.

Leanne Hecht Bearden hasn't been seen since she left for a walk on Jan. 17, 2014 in Garden Ridge, Texas. Credit: Our Friend Leanne Hecht Bearden Facebook page
Leanne Hecht Bearden hasn't been seen since she left for a walk on Jan. 17, 2014 in Garden Ridge, Texas. Credit: Our Friend Leanne Hecht Bearden Facebook page  Download PDF 
Family members of a Roswell High School graduate who went missing in Texas last month have acknowledged there is evidence the 33-year-old woman “may have voluntarily left the area.”

The family and friends of Roswell native Leanne Hecht Bearden posted on Facebook there is a “strong possibility” that the University of Georgia graduate didn’t return on her own accord when she went for a walk from her in-laws house on Jan. 17.

In the two-plus weeks since, Garden Ridge, Texas police have led an intensive search that included more than 17 agencies from across the state joining the massive manhunt on Jan. 25.

Bearden and husband, Josh Bearden, had recently returned from a two-year trip around the world. The couple, who resided in Denver, Colo., prior to their globe-trotting adventure, were visiting Josh’s family in Texas when she took off on what was supposed to be a 60-minute excursion.

Relatives, including Leanne’s parents who still live in the metro Atlanta area, now believe that she took with her a light backpack.

Authorities and a private investigator have examined the woman’s phone and computer records, and Garden Ridge police have now said they don’t believe foul play is involved.

Family members said Bearden went for her walk carrying $60 dollars and some credit cards.

Anyone with information regarding the location of Bearden is asked to contact the Garden Ridge Police Department at 210-651-6441.

To donate search funds online, visit the "Our Friend Leanne Hecht Bearden" Facebook page or Findleannebearden.com.

The following is the statement from the family on Facebook:

As you know, Leanne Bearden was last seen leaving her in-law’s house in Garden Ridge, Texas on the afternoon of January 17, 2014 for what she had said was to be a one-hour walk. She has not been seen or heard from by her family since. We initially believed that she was somewhere in the local area. However, after much searching, culminating on January 25 with an extensive air and land search of a 23 square mile area including Garden Ridge and the immediate surrounding area, no evidence has been found of her presence. 

The Garden Ridge Police, Comal County Sheriff’s office, the Texas Rangers, and other agencies as well as a private investigator have conducted an extensive investigation including talking with many of Leanne’s family members and friends as well as many other people living in this area. They also examined Leanne’s computer and telephone, including emails, text messages, and phone records and contacts. The pressure of transitioning from her two year trip back into what we consider “normal” life seems to have left her very anxious and stressed. As a result of this investigation there is evidence that Leanne may have voluntarily left the area, and we understand this is a strong possibility.

If Leanne has indeed fled this area, she is extremely vulnerable. She left with only a few assets and is traveling very light. Although she is athletic, she is small in stature. Her mental and physical status is uncertain. We fear for her greatly. We urge anyone who might have any information about Leanne to contact the Garden Ridge Police department at 210-651-6441 or Private Investigator Charles Parker at 210-826-4052.

Please remember Leanne, the Bearden and Hecht families, and all of Leanne’s friends in your thoughts and prayers.

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