Downtown Denver homicide investigation centers on liquor store video, butter knife

DENVER -- Police arrested Terry Lane Dunford II over the weekend on a first-degree murder complaint.

Dunford, identified as homeless, stands accused killing a mother of four in her downtown Denver apartment.

Court records reveal the victim, Jeanna Leslie, 49, was stabbed repeatedly.

Her body was found inside the Rio Grande Lofts building at 1531 Stout St. late Tuesday night.

Evidence suggests Leslie, who lived alone, was killed in her apartment on evening of Feb. 7.

Six days later, police responded to the studio apartment on a welfare check call.

Officers noticed "large amounts of blood," according to a probable cause affidavit.

The divorced mother had recently finished traveling the world for six months.

She moved to Denver about three months ago to be closer to her two youngest children, who live with their father in suburban Denver, according to family members.

“We’re going to miss her terribly," ex-husband Bill Leslie said.

Bill Leslie, who remained friends with Jeanna, called police on Tuesday. He told police Jeanna Leslie was scheduled to pick up their children to attend a Nuggets game, but she never showed up.

Court records reveal surveillance video from Champa Wine and Liquor -- on the 16th Street Mall -- captured video showing Jeanna Leslie with a man police believe is Dunford.

Police said Dunford was seen on video carrying two six-packs of beer.

A receipt from the liquor store and beer was found inside Jeanna Leslie's apartment, according to court records.

“Maybe she possibly let the guy upstairs," Leslie's neighbor, Luke Matras, said. "She was being a little too nice with him because she is new to the area.”

Loved ones said Jeanna Leslie was kind to everyone, including strangers.

Investigators told a Denver District Court judge a fingerprint found on a butter knife at the crime scene is a match to Dunford.

The suspect was known to have spent time at the Denver Rescue Mission.

Jeanna Leslie, a former school teacher, previously lived in the San Antonio area and Southern California.

Family members are in Orange County, California, for funeral services.

"She was an amazing lady," Jeanna Leslie's daughter Brittany said. "Anyone who crossed her path would get to see how much of an individual and special person she was."

Court records show investigators found clothing and identification cards that belong to Dunford at the crime scene.

Dunford used to be a Christian recovery instructor for alcoholics in Hawaii, according to a background check.

In 2010, Dunford was acquitted by reason of insanity in Hawaii on charges relating to unauthorized control of another person’s vehicle.