The Garden Ridge Police Department late on Friday afternoon issued a statement saying the preliminary autopsy report indicates that Leanne Bearden died of asphyxiation by hanging.

In the statement, police Chief Donna O'Conner says it has also been determined that her death occurred a short time after she was last seen leaving her in-laws's home.

Bearden disappeared on Jan. 17.

The family has thanked everyone for their prayers and support.