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A Delaware Teacher’s Body Turned Up In A River — And Police Are Looking For Answers

The body of Susan Ledyard, a 50-year-old Delaware teacher, was found in Brandywine River on July 23. But police, who haven’t released the nature of the woman’s injuries, are unsure if she was killed. 

By Dorian Geiger
Susan Ledyard Pd

Authorities are baffled by the case of a Delaware teacher, whose body was found in a river in July. 

The body of Susan Ledyard, 50,  was pulled from Brandywine River in Wilmington on July 23, but police have yet to make a ruling on her death — and since then they've released only a few details, apart from a vague timeline, of the teacher’s whereabouts in the hours leading up to her demise.

Investigators have declined to comment on the nature of the woman’s injuries, but don’t believe the middle-aged teacher died by suicide. 

“She was making plans for the week ahead,” homicide investigator Dan Grassi told Oxygen.com

“If someone is making plans for the next day and the next week, they’re not planning on killing themselves,” he added. “We haven’t determined if it’s a homicide or accident, so we’re just going where the investigation leads us.”

Grassi explained that Ledyard’s family and friends told investigators that she “never expressed any suicidal tendencies,” nor had she appeared depressed the week of her death.

At a press conference last week, police pointed to phone records that showed Ledyard was using her mobile device in the hours leading up to her death.

“We know that Susan was active on her cell phone throughout the night, texting and calling friends up until 2:45 a.m.,” Grassi said.

The detective noted Ledyard left her home shortly after 3 a.m., but was unable to specify why she had decided to leave her house so late.

Less than an hour after Ledyard’s body was recovered from the river two months ago, state troopers discovered her 2016 Honda Civic on a nearby bridge, about three miles upstream.

The area where authorities found the teacher’s parked car, he said, was a popular destination for hikers. Video cameras in the area captured Ledyard’s car, but because it was so dark, police couldn’t tell if anyone got in or out of the vehicle. 

Grassi did say it was normal for Ledyard to text and be active late at night.

“She was a night owl,” Grassi described. “[She] stayed up late and contacted people late. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for her to go for a walk late at night or to call or text friends late at night.”

Delaware State Police are now calling on the public to come forward with any information they may have related to Ledyard’s death. 

“There may have been people walking dogs or out jogging, that maybe didn’t know anything at the time, but maybe they saw something,” Grassi explained.

Ledyard had shoulder-length brown hair, stood roughly five feet tall, weighed 130 lbs, and was wearing a purple tank top the morning she died. 

The questions circling her death have devastated the woman’s family.

“We know that she is gone, but we’re asking for your help because we simply don’t know how Susan died,” said John Morrissey, Ledway’s brother at the press conference. “This is a last-ditch effort to get information.”

Morrissey described his sister as the family “superstar” and a “tough genius.”

Ledyard was a teacher at Academy Park High School, according to the Delaware County Times.

“She was loved by her parents, by her husband, by her siblings, by her friends, and by her students,” he added.

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