The family of Jennifer Leyanna may finally get long-awaited justice following the arrest of a Maryland man who has been arrested and charged with her murder. This case was thrust back into the news cycle when Jennifer’s remains were located in the backyard of a Maryland residence earlier this week.
Jennifer Leyanna, 41, was last seen in Hartly, Delaware, on October 9, 2020 about 18 months ago. The last time she had contact with her family was that same day when she spoke to her mother on the phone. Her mother told WMDT-TV back in 2021, “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.”
Investigators had been investigating her disappearance with the possibility of foul play, determining that she was “likely dead as a result of criminal actions.” This trail of investigative measures lead them to Leonard “Buddy” Church from Henderson, Maryland.
Following his identification as a suspect in the case, public records confirmed that Church actually lived on the same block as the backyard in question. After he was arrested, Church was extradited to Delaware where he was charged with first degree murder and given a $2 million cash bond upon arraignment.
News like this is always bittersweet for families of missing persons, many of whom are desperate for answers, no matter how devastating, and that was no different for the family of Jennifer Leyanna. Upon hearing the news of the discovery of Leyanna’s remains, her family received a wealth of support and good thoughts from those following the Find Jennifer Leyanna Facebook page. On Tuesday, the page posted an update simply stating, “She’s home where she belongs.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Detective Mark Ryde by calling 302-741-2730.