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Dead body identified

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Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2004 12:00 am

WONDER VALLEY - Using dental records investigators on Thursday, May 27, identified the remains which were found here by a traveler and his dog on May 12 at those of Jean Leppan, 33, of Yucca Valley.

That afternoon, the woman's ex-husband, Charles Leppan, was being interviewed by homicide detectives about his ex-wife's disappearance.

At the conclusion of the interview, Leppan was arrested for investigation of murder and booked at the sheriff's West Valley Detention Center.

On Wednesday morning Linda Root, the supervising deputy district attorney in the Morongo Basin office, confirmed that a decision had been made Tuesday morning not to file murder charges against Leppan at this time.

This decision, however, does not mean Leppan is not a suspect, she added.

"We did not want to go forward with the case at its present stage of investigation," she said, noting that the decision was made by Homicide Sgt. Bobby Dean, herself and another deputy district attorney in her office.

The investigation into Jean Leppan's murder is continuing. Anyone with information should contact Det. Gina Perez or Sgt. Bobby Dean at (909) 387-3589.

Dean issued a statement on Friday, May 28 stating that Jean Leppan was last seen in January, when she and her ex-husband, a 31-year-old sergeant in the Marine Corps, were sharing a Yucca Valley home while trying to reconcile.

Her ex-husband, Dean said, was the last person to see Leppan alive. After her disappearance, he added, Leppan did not report her missing.

He married his current wife about two weeks later in February.

The woman's body was found buried in a shallow grave off of Ironage Road about a mile south of Twentynine Palms Highway in a remote desert location 22 miles east of downtown Twentynine Palms.

Sheriff's deputies from the Morongo Basin station responded to the call, confirmed the discovery and summoned homicide detectives to the scene.

© 2016 Hi-Desert Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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