Jeanna Leslie, a mother of four, died doing what she was known to do: help others. The 49-year-old mother was trying to help a homeless man named Terry Dunford, 40.
In turn, Dunford allegedly stabbed her to death with kitchen knives inside Leslie’s loft apartment. The mother was letting him and another homeless man stay in her place until they were able to get back on their feet, reported CBS News. Police found Leslie’s body on Valentine’s Day after she didn’t show up to pick up her children. They had plans to do a family outing and go to a Nuggets basketball game, the Denver Post reported.
Dunford was arrested on Friday night after police were tipped off to his whereabouts. He has been booked into jail on a charge of first-degree murder, and it’s unclear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.
"You always want to do the right thing," Antonio Grant, Leslie’s neighbor, told CBS News. "And that's all she was doing was the right thing. [...] Speaks volumes of who she was. Beautiful soul. Really nice lady."
According to the Kansas City Star, Leslie had recently moved to Denver to be closer to her teenage children.
“Denver has a unique culture that combines majestic realism with the myth of the untamed West,” she posted on Facebook about her new city. “It is as beautiful as the people. With change comes growth, and Denver will change anyone for the better.”
She posted on Facebook about how much she loved her new apartment, which she called “decorator heaven.”
Westword called the mother a “vibrant free spirit.”
Her eldest daughter, Brittany Leslie, told Fox 31, “She was a very open person. She made friends with everyone. You can’t just trust everyone. It doesn’t matter who they are. It doesn’t matter where they come from.”
A GoFund Me campaign has been set up for funeral costs.
[Photo: Facebook, Denver Police Department]