Suspected human remains found during missing person probe

February 22, 2022 GMT

HENDERSON, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man has been charged in the death of a Delaware woman who went missing in 2020, police announced Tuesday.

Last week, investigators investigating the disappearance of Jennifer Leyanna, 41, of Felton went to a home in Henderson, Maryland, where they found suspected human remains in the backyard, Delaware State Police said in a news release. On Tuesday, police said the remains have been positively identified as Leyanna.

Leyanna was reported missing on Nov. 1, 2020, and the reporting person said she was last seen in the Hartly area and hadn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 9, 2020, police said. After extensive follow-ups, interviews and countless tips, detectives were led to believe Leyanna was dead, and they established Leonard Church, 41, of Henderson, as a suspect in her death, police said.

Church was taken into custody and held on unrelated charges last week, police said. On Monday, Church was extradited to Delaware and charged with first-degree murder. He’s being held on $2 million cash bond.