Teacher Allegedly Stabbed to Death by Homeless Man She Was Trying to Help

A teacher was allegedly stabbed to death by a homeless man she was trying to help just months after moving to Colorado.

Police in Denver, Colorado have arrested Terry Dunford, 40, in connection to the stabbing death of 49-year-old Jeanna Leslie, the Daily Mail reports.

Authorities discovered Leslie's body in her Denver studio apartment on Tuesday, Feb. 20, after her ex-husband called 911 to report her missing after she failed to pick up their two youngest children from their basketball game. Upon kicking down the locked door to her apartment, authorities say they were overwhelmed by "the smell of decomposition."

Leslie's body was discovered covered in the bathroom, where it had allegedly been rotting for six days. She had been stabbed multiple times. Authorities also reported that the walls in the apartment were covered in blood. Investigators found bloody kitchen knives and blood-spattered men's clothing in the apartment, as well as a receipt for a liquor store dated Feb. 7. Surveillance video showed Leslie entering and exiting the store with a man, later identified as Dunford. Dunford's wallet, containing his Veterans Affairs ID card, was also discovered at the scene of the crime.

It is believed that Leslie, who was described by her daughter as having a "big heart," was attempting to help Dunford, a U.S. Navy veteran who had been struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. According to her daughter, Dunford had allegedly grown threatening after he requested to move into Leslie's loft apartment with her but she refused.

While detectives have not yet determined Leslie's exact time of death, they believe that her body may have been in the apartment for six days, a neighbor stating that "the stench was undeniable," according to CBS Denver.

Leslie had moved to Denver in November in order to be closer to her two youngest children. She had taught high school English in Texas for 15 years, and was working as a driver for Uber and Lyft since moving as she attempted to get back into teaching.


Dunford has been booked into the Denver detention center and charged with first degree murder.