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Husband Led Authorities to Missing Wife’s Dead Body After ‘Several Inconsistencies’ in His Story: Sheriff


thomas lehan mugshot, Kathleen Lehan

A Maryland man has been charged with killing his wife after telling authorities where her body could be found, the local sheriff’s office said.

Kathleen “Katie” Lehan, 34, of Middletown, was found dead in the creek bed her husband indicated after she disappeared around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, said a press release from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office. The husband, Thomas Lehan, 37, is charged with first-degree murder. Authorities closed in on the husband after “several inconsistencies” in his “statements … led detectives to believe he was a person of interest,” the press release said.

Early in the search, the sheriff’s office deemed Katie Lehan a “critical missing person” and launched a search operation “based off of information obtained” using dogs, helicopter support, technology, teams of people, and assistance from other agencies. The search efforts focused on the South Mountain State Park section of Reno Monument Road, a narrow, rural, two-lane road about half an hour west of Frederick, Md., the sheriff’s office said.  A missing persons poster said the Katie was originally “believed to have left her residence on foot and did not take her vehicle.” It is unclear whether that early presumption has been proven untrue by subsequent revelations.

“These searches did yield further evidence to support Thomas Lehan’s involvement in Katie’s disappearance,” the sheriff’s office later announced.  A search warrant executed on the Lehan home turned up even more evidence, authorities said, though they have not yet said explicitly what that evidence is. “Further investigations and information” led Thomas Lehan to tell investigators where his wife’s body could be found. Crime scene investigators processed the scene, described as a “wooded area off of Burkittsville Road,” a winding rural road situated generally about eight to 10 miles south of the original named search location. The victim’s body was taken to Baltimore for an autopsy.

Katie Lehan’s family asked the sheriff’s office to thank the community for its support:  “We want to thank all of our friends, family and loved ones. The community has wrapped their arms around us. We appreciate all of the support. At this time we would like to ask for privacy as we navigate this news.”

[Images via Frederick County, Maryland Sheriff’s Office]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.