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Arrest made after woman’s body found in shed behind Pittsburgh home

PITTSBURGH — A man has been arrested after a woman’s body was found Saturday in a shed behind a home in Pittsburgh’s Knoxville neighborhood, police announced Sunday.

Montel Reed, 26, is charged with homicide, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in the death of 38-year-old Crystal Leschner.

At about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, police responded to a call that someone who lives on Reifert Street had found a body, later identified as Leschner, in their shed.

Leschner’s body, which had been wrapped in plastic, was found inside a suitcase in the shed, according to a criminal complaint.

After talking with Leschner’s family, investigators learned that she had been in a relationship with Reed, who was arrested four times in 2021 for assaulting her, the complaint said.

>>RELATED STORY: Family of woman found dead in shed in Knoxville trying to piece together timeline of her death

Police said Leschner had paid to rent out a living space above a detached garage behind the home next to the shed where her body was found. Reed lived in the basement of that home.

Reed had been released from jail on Dec. 17, 2021, police said. He was arrested again on Jan. 6.

When police questioned Reed, he admitted to stabbing Leschner multiple times in the neck during a dispute on Dec. 27 inside the living space she rented out, according to the complaint. He told police he left and returned early the next morning, at which point he put her body in a wall storage area.

On Jan. 1, Reed was involved in an altercation with another man in the same living space and they were both stabbed, the complaint said. Police were called, but they did not find Leschner’s body in the wall.

Reed told police that after he was released from the hospital, he removed Leschner’s body from the wall storage area, covered her with plastic and put her in the suitcase that he then moved to the shed on Jan. 5. The next day, he said he asked his sister to take him to the Allegheny County Jail to turn himself in for an outstanding warrant related to the Jan. 1 altercation.

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