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Crime News

Body Of Delaware Woman, Missing For Over A Year, Found in Backyard Of Maryland Home

A 41-year-old man was arrested after the remains of a missing woman from 2020 were found in a backyard near the suspect's address. 

By Chambolion Fairley
Leonard Church Pd

A Maryland man was arrested and extradited to Delaware after the remains of a missing woman were recovered in the backyard of a home in Henderson, Maryland.

Delaware State Police released in a statement that the body was identified as Jennifer Leyanna, 41, who was reported missing back in November 2020. 

Leyanna was last seen in the Hartly area of Delaware on October 6, 2020, according to police. State police conducted many follow-ups, interviews and received various tips on the whereabouts of Leyanna, according to the press release.

The last time Leyenna's friends or family heard from her, was October 9, 2020, when she spoke to her mother on the phone “It didn’t click that there was anything wrong, usually she’ll say take care of Natalie but this time she said mom please take care of my baby girl,” Jennifer's mother told Delaware's ABC 47.`

Investigators identified Leonard “Buddy” Church, 41, of Henderson, MD — who was arrested on Feb 16, for unrelated charges — as a suspect in her murder. Court documents show that Church’s address is on the same road as the address where the body was discovered. 

Church was extradited on Monday from Caroline County Detention Center in Maryland to Delaware and was charged with first-degree murder. Church is being held on a $2 million bond. 

Church's public records show a history of criminal charges including theft, drug possession and trespassing. The docket information from Feb 16, includes multiple charges of possessing a firearm with a felony conviction.  

The case is still under investigation. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Det. Mark Ryde at 302-741-2730 or emailing mark.ryde@delaware.gov. Information can also be shared via Private Facebook Message to the Delaware State Police or contacting Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://delaware.crimestoppersweb.com/

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