Search for missing woman shifts to Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the search for a woman who disappeared in Comal County two weeks ago continues, her story is now gaining national attention.

Leanne Bearden, 33, went for a walk on Jan. 17 while visiting her in-laws in Garden Ridge, and never came back.

On Wednesday, the family brought their search 60 miles north to Austin, handing out flyers and looking for answers.

The family says they aren’t ruling out any possibilities and are unsure whether she was kidnapped, or left on her own. However, they say the received several tips from people saying they spotted Bearden in Austin.

Leanne’s husband, Josh, hired a private investigator and since then several calls have come in from people saying they saw Leanne panhandling in the city.

Upon hearing the news, Josh and his father packed up and hit the road to search for her, passing out flyers at The Arch downtown. Then they moved on to Sixth Street before looking in West Campus.

Garden Ridge police and Texas Search and Rescue teams have since stopped their ground and helicopter searches after finding no foul play.

Josh Bearden also said he recently noticed his hiking backpack was missing after Leanne’s disappearance, leading him to believe she may have taken it to survive off protein bars that were inside of the bag.

Leanne and Josh returned from a two-year world traveling trip not too long ago and he says she may have had some anxiety about returning to her normal life.

“Maybe she went to go clear her head, but I still have to think she would’ve gotten a hold of her family, her best friend…anybody,” Josh said.

The Facebook page dedicated to finding Leanne has nearly 17,000 “likes”.  Garden Ridge Police have ruled that Josh Bearden is not a suspect, and they are still taking tips.

Anyone with information is asked to call Garden Ridge Police at 210-651-6441 or the private investigator at 210-826-4052.

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