Allegheny County

Family of woman found dead in shed in Knoxville trying to piece together timeline of her death

PITTSBURGH — The family of Crystal Leschner is in Pittsburgh collecting her belongings, trying to piece together the timeline of her death.

“She did not deserve this in any way. Not to go out like this, not to be thrown away like trash,” Crystal’s stepfather, Drexel Connelly, told Channel 11.

Channel 11′s Gabriella DeLuca spoke to Crystal’s family Monday.

Police found Crystal’s body wrapped in plastic and covered in frost. She had been stuffed in a suitcase and placed inside of a shed in Knoxville.

“To be taken like she was taken, for no reason … it’s hard,” Connelly said.

Our crew was at the scene over the weekend, police charged Crystal’s boyfriend, Montel Reed.

Investigators say Reed hid Crystal’s body in a wall and eventually hid her in the shed.

“We’ve only known they were dating for a little bit. We don’t know how long it was. We never met him. We saw pictures, and she talked about him like he was a normal guy. She was in love with him,” Crystal’s sister, Chanel Warner, said.

Channel 11 learned Reed was charged with assault in December for allegedly choking and dragging Crystal. Investigators say he was also arrested other times for hurting her.

At the beginning of January, he was also arrested for stabbing a man who came to his house to buy a gaming system from him. It’s unclear if Crystal was alive at that point.

“She had been beaten up by the same boyfriend a week before she died. My brother picked her up and removed her from the situation, but she went back,” Warner added.

Her family tells Channel 11 that Crystal was in the process of getting an order of protection from Reed. Now they’re planning for her funeral, and Reed is behind bars.

“I want him to live every day knowing what he did to this family. I hope the judge that looks over this can make that happen,” Connelly said.

The family has made a GoFundMe to help play for funeral expenses. You can find that information here:

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