By Melissa Garcia
DENVER (CBS4)– Police are asking for the public’s help to catch the killer who murdered a substitute teacher and mother in her downtown Denver apartment.
Officers discovered the body of Jeanna Leslie, 49, early Wednesday morning inside her third story unit at the Rio Grande Lofts on Stout Street near 15th.
Neighbors tell CBS4 they noticed a bad smell a couple of days ago in the building.
Jeanna had moved to Denver just a few months earlier in order to be closer to her two youngest children, who are 16 and 17-years-old.
According to a Denver medical examiner’s report, Leslie died from “multiple sharp force injuries” on Feb. 13.
Family members said Jeanna lived alone, and that she sometimes offered help to people in need.
“We really want justice to be served and figure out why this happened,” said Jeanna’s second to oldest daughter, Audra Leslie.
On Friday afternoon, investigators released pictures of Terry Lane Dunford II, wanted in the murder of Leslie. He is described as a white male, 6-foot, 185 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Dunford, 40, is believed to be homeless in the downtown area.
Describing her mother as free-spirited and loving, Audra told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia that her mom grew up in Orange County, California and went on to teach in San Antonio, Texas, where she lived until November.
In a gleeful post on social media, Jeanna shared photos of her new downtown loft in a city she friends said she had fallen in love with.
In early morning hours of Valentine’s Day, police discovered Jeanna stabbed to death inside.
“My mom is a really welcoming person,” Audra said, via video chat. “She trusts people. Sometimes that could get her in to trouble.”
Friends expressed outrage and heartbreak over the loss.
Former students from the San Antonio charter school where Jeanna taught high school English classes for about fifteen years were equally torn up by the tragedy.
“A lot of disbelief and sadness,” described Cynthia Lozano, of the teacher she knew as Ms. Leslie. “When I saw how compassionate she was towards me, it was just heartwarming.”
Jeanna’s two oldest daughters are grateful for their time with her last year when she invited them to join her during her trip of a lifetime in Europe.
“I’m so glad that we got to do something like that before all this happened,” Audra said. “That was so beautiful to me, to have that and those memories.”
Anyone with information regarding this crimes is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You can text to CRIMES (274637) then title DMCS and enter your message or send an e-mail to metro-denvercrimestoppers.com. If the information you provide leads to the arrest and charging of a wanted individual, you can receive a cash reward up to $2,000.