SAN ANTONIO -

Garden Ridge police Chief Donna O'Conner said a body found in the backyard of a Garden Ridge home Thursday afternoon is believed to be that of a woman missing since January.

Leanne Bearden, 33, was last seen on Jan. 17 in Garden Ridge when she went for a walk and never returned.

The home where her body was found is located in the 21000 block of Fairview Circle, about two blocks from where she was last seen.

A source in Comal County confirmed to KSAT's Steve Spriester late Thursday afternoon that her death was an apparent suicide.

Dispatch received a call at 12:18 p.m. on Thursday from a man who told them he spotted a body in a wooded area behind his house, O'Conner said.

The homeowner said he discovered Bearden's body around noon on Thursday in a brushy area behind his home.

That area is an undeveloped part of his property he does not walk through often, but did on Thursday.

Garden Ridge police, Comal County Sheriff's deputies and Texas Rangers went to the scene and examined the body, which had some identifying jewelry as well as a backpack, O'Conner said. She was apparently found with the same backpack she was carrying when she left her in-laws house to go on a walk on Jan. 17.

Both families have been notified and they will wait for autopsy results for further information.

Multiple police agencies and volunteers combed the area around where she was last seen in the weeks since she vanished. The family was offering a reward for information related to her disappearance after Bearden vanished near a relative's house in Garden Ridge.

Thursday evening, Bearden's family issued the following statement:

“Our family is understandably devastated by the news of the recovery of the remains of our beloved Leanne. We wish to thank the myriad of people who helped us search for Leanne, and who helped support us throughout this entire nightmare. We also wish to thank the members of the media who helped us tell our story. We thank the Garden Ridge Police Department and other agencies who provided such caring service to us. We especially thank the Heidi Search Center for their wonderful help and support. Although this is not the outcome we had hoped for, we draw comfort and strength from the outpouring of prayers, actions and good wishes from all -- including over 20,000 Facebook friends. We ask for your continued prayers and good wishes for our family. Leanne was a lovely and remarkable young woman and we will all miss her greatly.”

Leanne Bearden