Crystal Leschner’s family says boyfriend is responsible for her death.
Police have arrested a man in connection to the murder of a woman found dead in a shed behind a house in Pittsburgh’s Knoxville neighborhood.
Pittsburgh Police homicide detectives have arrested Montel Reed, 26, on charges of criminal homicide, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse Sunday evening.
Police were alerted to reports of human remains found in a shed behind a residence on the 300 block of Reifert Street around 4:30 p.m.
Early Sunday morning, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office identified the woman as Crystal Leschner, 38.
Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 talked with three of Leschner’s siblings. According to them, Reed physically abused their sister a few weeks ago.
“She had marks all over her face and as a brother, it’s hard to see your baby sister go through anything like that…I was hoping she didn’t go back, but apparently she went back,” said Joey Leschner.
Leschner’s sister, Kacey Gola, said it was not clear exactly when she died, but investigators told her sometime between Dec. 26 and New Year’s.
“She was found in a shed inside of a suitcase. She had been chopped up after she was dead,” Gola said.
All of Leschner’s siblings described her as a loving person and the fun aunt.
“She could never have kids, so she was the best aunt to all of her nieces and nephews…she was always right there. Even if we didn’t talk for a few weeks, months, if something happened, she was right there,” Gola said.
“A very kindhearted person. She would do anything for anyone which makes it even more hard to believe,” Joey Leschner said.
Now as Leschner’s family waits for more answers, they are determined to get justice for their sister.
“She needs justice for what happened, and he needs to be put away for a long time. He took away someone so special who we will never be able to get back. I’ll never be able to hug my sister,” said Chanel Warner.
Reed has been transported to Allegheny County Jail.
A criminal complaint obtained by Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 early Monday morning said Reed confessed to investigators that he stabbed Leschner several times on Dec. 27 during a domestic dispute, resulting in her death.
According to court documents, Reed was just in the Allegheny County Jail two days prior on a robbery charge for an incident on Jan. 1.
He was brought in to the Allegheny County Jail on Jan. 7 and was released the same day after posting a $5,000 bail.
Major Crimes Detectives and the Pittsburgh Crime Scene unit were called to the scene to collect evidence.
Neighbor Ronnie Davis said the scene was unsettling.
“I’m a single father, and I have two kids, and if it was a homicide, I need to know,” Davis said.
Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Cara Cruz said the investigation could take time.
“It is going to be a long investigation, of course. This is not usual. We are used to other things in the city, but this is definitely unusual,” Cruz said.
She said it was unclear at that point if the initial report came from someone who lives there.
Leschner’s family has set up a GoFundMe for expenses.