In the days leading up to her disappearance, Leanne Hecht Bearden said she was tired of traveling after her trip around the world and was anxious to return home.
"She said, 'I want to come home to my family with lots of hugs and kisses,'" Bearden's sister, Joy Hecht Colombo, told The Huffington Post.
Indeed, the trip was exhausting. Bearden, 33, and her husband, Josh, had been gone 22 months. They visited 58 countries during that time, and they blogged about their experience online.
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Upon the couple's return, the Beardens visited Josh Bearden's family in San Antonio, Texas. From there, they were going to head back to Denver, Colo., where they lived before they set out on their lengthy trip.
So when Leanne Bearden disappeared while walking near her in-laws house on Jan. 17, some people -- including at least one family member -- speculated she might have voluntarily vanished. Perhaps, they thought, the pressure of transitioning from a two-year trip back into a "normal" life had prompted her to take off.
Not so, say her brother and sister.
"She would never leave of her own free will. That is not her at all," Leanne Bearden's brother, Doug Hecht, told HuffPost.
"She's very responsible," Colombo added. "She loves her family and she would never put us through this."
Police, search-and-rescue crews and the Texas Rangers have all come up empty in their search for Leanne Bearden. Authorities have investigated possible sightings, but to date they have all turned out to be cases of misidentification.
Those cases of misidentification, as well as a lot of misinformation online, have made it difficult for Leanne Bearden's family. Every day, they said, they are presented with false hope, baseless conjectures and outrageous accusations, none of which have served to help them in their plight.
"We're definitely leery of what's out there," said Hecht.
"And there has been no evidence found on her computer," Colombo said, referring to Internet rumors. "All of the tips, sightings, and everything else has led to nothing."
The siblings are now hopeful a reward the family is offering will lead to information in the case.
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According to Colombo and Hecht, $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to their sister's exact location. An additional $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to her safe return.
"We just want to know something," Hecht said. "We feel like we’re in the dark and not knowing is just killing us."
"This feels like a book that never ends." Colombo added.
Leanne is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 100 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She has two piercings on her left ear: one on the bottom and a small loop at the top. She was last seen wearing jeans and hiking shoes.
Anyone with information on Leanne Bearden's whereabouts is asked to call the Garden Ridge Police Department at (210) 651-6441 or Comal County Crime Stoppers at (830) 620-8477.
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