Susan Ledyard’s Murder: Family to Meet with Attorney General; Dateline NBC Features Case

The family of Susan Morrissey Ledyard (above) shared their story about her unsolved murder with Dateline NBC 

The family of the Wilmington woman found murdered in the Brandywine River this summer is requesting a meeting with Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings, TSD has learned.

The outreach to both Governor John Carney and the state’s top prosecutor comes more than a month after State Police officially confirmed 50-year-old Susan Morrissey Ledyard’s July death was a homicide. Initially termed “suspicious,” by investigators, a forensic report in November concluded Ledyard died of “blunt force trauma and drowning” at the hands of an unknown, violent assailant.

 

Susan Ledyard’s sister Meg Morrissey Heinicke said the family’s goal is “to get as much information as possible and let investigators know they have our full support.” She also said they want to ensure Jennings “is fully aware of the case and puts a personal face on it … to know that the family is being proactive and one hundred percent committed to doing everything we can.”

Susan Ledyard left her Riverview Avenue home in her 2016 black Honda Civic shortly after 3:00 am on Monday, July 23rd, and her car was discovered later in an unusual position at Walkers Mill Road near the Rising Sun Road bridge over the Brandywine.

Her body was found by a construction worker three miles downriver in the city of Wilmington and city police officers responded to the scene.

Susan and Ben Ledyard (photo courtesy of Ben Ledyard)

Because of the location of Ledyard’s vehicle – deemed a crime scene – outside city boundaries, State Police have jurisdiction and are heading up the investigation.

Leads in the case have been limited, leading the family to launch a public outreach campaign involving flyers and calls for tips that could lead police to actionable clues. 

Related: The Death of Susan Ledyard: Family Launches Campaign for Clues

Police have been closed-lipped regarding the case, declining to name any suspects or comment on what they have learned about Ledyard’s movements and contacts in the early morning hours before her murder.  It is unclear if police believe she was murdered by someone she knew or if the crime was a result of more random circumstances.

 

In an interview with Dateline NBC, Susan’s husband Ben Ledyard said he and a friend had gone to see a movie the evening prior to Susan’s death and that when he returned she was home on the back deck texting a friend. Ledyard told NBC he had “no clue why she left the house that late” and was surprised to find her missing when police woke him with a knock on the door the following morning.

“Panic started to set in,” Ben told Dateline. “I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand why she wasn’t in the bed next to me. Nothing made sense.”

Investigators have confirmed that at 3:02 a.m., Susan’s car pulled out of her driveway on Riverview Avenue and turned left onto northbound Pennsylvania Avenue.

State Police collected video surveillance footage from several locations in the area where Susan’s car was found. Using that video and her cell phone records, they were able to create a partial timeline of her activities.

Investigators have not shared whether anyone else’s car driven by someone Susan Ledyard might have known also arrived or left the Walkers Mill Road area or whether they are aware of any other vehicle activity at the Ledyard’s home in the early morning of July 23.

A graduate of Georgetown University and San Francisco State University (Master’s in Education), Susan Ledyard had been married to Ben Ledyard for three years

Now nearly six months after her sister’s death, Heinicke said her family is working to ensure the case remains “alive” throughout the Delaware Valley.

“I really believe someone has information they do not think is relevant or someone gets a conscience,” said Heinicke. “That is so critical to solving this case.”

The family says a meeting with prosecutors in the case is scheduled for late January.


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About the Contributor

Christy Fleming

Christy Fleming

The managing editor of TownSquareDelaware.com, Christy Fleming also supports a variety of non-profit initiatives in Delaware. Her background includes positions in public relations, advertising and journalism.