Forensic scientists with the Maryland State Police have determined that human remains found in a Henderson backyard belonged to 41-year-old Jennifer Leyanna, who has been missing from her home in Felton for over a year.
Forty-one-year-old Leonard "Buddy" Church – whom public records show lived on the same block that Leyanna's remains were found on – was charged with her murder, according to Delaware State Police. No motive has been released at this time.
Prior to her disappearance, police said Leyanna was last seen in the Hartly area on Oct. 9, 2020. After a "lengthy investigation," police said they believed Leyanna was likely dead "from criminal actions." During this investigation, state troopers said they established Church as a suspect.
Church was arrested by county deputies in Henderson on Feb. 16 for charges unrelated to Leyanna's murder, Delaware State Police said. Public records show Church had a history of arrests for theft, drug possession and distribution, trespassing and forgery of prescriptions for controlled substances.
Delaware State Police said Church was extradited to Delaware on Monday and charged with first-degree murder. He was arraigned in the Justice of the Peace Court and committed to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington on a $2 million cash bond.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Det. Mark Ryde by calling 302-741-2730 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send story tips or ideas to Hannah Edelman at email@example.com. For more reporting, follow them on Twitter at @h_edelman.
This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Missing Delaware woman's remains found in Maryland backyard