Friends remember former SA teacher allegedly killed by homeless man she was helping in Denver

Jeanna Leslie, 49, found stabbed to death on Feb. 13

By Patty Santos - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A former Harmony Science Academy-San Antonio teacher is being remembered as a vibrant, inspiring adventurer who lived life to the fullest. 

Jeanna Leslie, 49, was found stabbed to death in her Denver apartment on Feb. 13.

Leslie was an English teacher in San Antonio for more than a decade. Her four children also attended the Harmony Science Academy before moving out of state.

Marie Ybarra, one of Leslie’s friends for a decade, could not believe the news of the death.

“She traveled the world. She traveled many places where anything could have happened,” Ybarra said. “She came home to settle and be with her children, and when she was in her home, that's when (the) tragedy happened.”

Denver police arrested Terry Dunford, 40, in connection with Leslie’s murder. Local news affiliates report Leslie was helping the homeless man.

Friends were not surprised of her charitable ways, describing Leslie’s helpful nature. The tight-knit school community is trying to cope with the tragic loss. 

“She was a like a big sister to me,” Adel Gomez said.

Gomez would spend a lot of time after school with Leslie and her children.  

“I wanted to say thank you for all the advice she gave me in the past,” Gomez said. “Thank you for how she inspired the [students].”

Nadia Levine will travel to California for the funeral service. 

“She was the happiest that I had ever seen her. She followed her dreams. She said she was going to go travel the world, and she did,” Levine said.

Friends and alumni will gather for a memorial at 6 p.m. Saturday at 2122 Colima Street in San Antonio.

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