The husband of a woman whose 2019 murder remains unsolved is arrested after assaulting his current wife
The husband of a Delaware woman whose 2019 murder remains unsolved has been arrested on a range of assault charges after he allegedly assaulted his current wife and bit off her finger.
Benjamin Ledyard, 55, was charged with second-degree assault, terrorism-related threats and New Year’s Day threats to Stephanie Ledyard, whom he married in 2021.
Delaware State Police say the New Castle County assault case is “separate” from the murder of Ledyard’s former wife, Susan Morrissey Ledyard, and “is not currently relevant to our investigation.”
Susan’s body was discovered on July 23, 2019 in the Brandywine River in Wilmington, Delaware. Her murder investigation is “still active and ongoing,” state police say.
Ledyard, who was not named a suspect in Susan’s murder, was arrested Sunday on separate assault charges and is being held at Howard Young Correctional Institution on $77,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on January 25.
Benjamin Ledyard, 55, is charged with assault in the attack on his now wife Stephanie Ledyard, 54, more than three years after the murder of his former wife Susan Morrissey Ledyard
In the latest photo, posted to Ledyard’s Facebook page, he and now-wife Stephanie Nixon Ledyard pose for Christmas just days before he allegedly assaulted her
Ledyard was taken into custody Sunday after New Castle County police were called to the couple’s home on Camp David Road in the Talleyville section of the Presidential Estates.
The couple got into an argument over loud music, and he allegedly chased her around the house with a billiard cue, according to the police report.
Stephanie Nixon Ledyard, 54, who fled the home to call for help, suffered from injuries allegedly caused by her husband.
According to the warrant obtained by WHYY, Stephanie told police that Ledyard had been drinking while playing pool when she asked him to turn down the loud music.
The couple started arguing, and Ledyard told his wife, “I’m definitely going to give you a good thrashing tonight,” before grabbing a cue stick and “starting” swinging it at her.
Stephanie told police he chased her around the house with the cue and hit her with what she believed was a “white square block of marble with a black figure on it,” the warrant said.
Ledyard then pushed Stephanie to the ground, grabbed her by the hair, and “slammed her head repeatedly onto the hardwood floor,” she said.
Officials wrote in the report that Ledyard “refused” to speak to them.
The court documents also revealed that Ledyard was charged in a previous attack on Stephanie last summer, in which he allegedly bit off the tip of her pinky finger.
Stephanie told authorities at the Wilmington Hospital emergency room at the time that she injured her finger on a door frame and that Ledyard was with her.
But this week she told police that Ledyard had bitten off the tip of her finger and told her, “I think I swallowed it.”
Ledyard was charged with first-degree assault on New Year’s Day.
The couple got into an argument over loud music, and he allegedly chased her around the house with a billiard cue, according to the police report
The court documents also revealed that Ledyard was charged in a previous attack on Stephanie last summer, in which he allegedly bit off the tip of her pinky finger
Ledyard’s New Year’s Day arrest comes more than three years after his former wife, Susan, was found dead in the Brandywine River in Wilmington on July 23, 2019. Her car was found parked about three miles upstream on Walkers Mill Road.
Susan’s death was not determined to be a homicide until months later.
In September 2019, Delaware State Police said they did not believe Susan committed suicide and said they were confident she did not enter the water where her car was found.
The state medical examiner determined Susan’s cause of death to be blunt force trauma and drowning. In November 2019, state police officially declared her death a homicide.
Ledyard had previously told police he went to a movie the night Susan was last seen in July 2019. He said he got home and went to bed while Susan stayed up texting friends on the west coast.
He told Dateline that he was woken up the next morning by the Delaware State Police looking for Susan. They told him they found his wife’s car.
Months after Susan’s body was found, the Delaware State Police characterized her death as a homicide and said she died from blunt force trauma and drowning.
Susan’s sister Meg Morrissey Heinicke told DailyMail.com on Wednesday that they “cannot comment on the latest arrest”.
“We would like to remind the public that Susan’s case is an active, open homicide investigation,” she wrote in an email. “We will continue to do everything in our power to help resolve this case. There is a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Susan’s family and friends love and miss her terribly and we will continue to fight for answers.’
The alleged attack came more than three years after Ledyard’s former wife was found dead in the Brandywine River in Wilmington, Delaware, in July 2019. Her murder is unsolved
Susan’s family has offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case
Ledyard’s family established the Susan Morrissey Foundation in her honor, which provides a monetary scholarship to a student at Academy Park High School, where Susan taught before her death.
Susan was an English teacher in California and Pennsylvania for over 20 years and loved sharing her passion for the written word, according to the foundation’s website.
In June 2021, the foundation awarded the first Susan Morrissey Ledyard Prize of $2,500 for achievement in English to Nicholas Manus, a student at Academy Park High School.
Academy Park High School seniors Rodney Brown and Jeannot Palimens received the 2022 scholarship award.
Detectives continue to seek information from the public about Susan’s murder and her activities in the hours leading up to her death.
Anyone with information on this case should contact Homicide Detective Daniel Grassi at 302.365-8441 or email@example.com. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-333 or by visiting www.delawarecrimestoppersweb.com.
If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of a crime or has lost a loved one to a sudden death and needs assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to provide you with support and resources offer 24 hours a day via a toll-free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1-800-842-8461). You can also email the department head at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A timeline of the unsolved 2019 murder of Susan Morrissey Ledyard
Susan’s body was found in the Brandywine River in the Northeast Boulevard area at 7:39 a.m. on July 23, 2019 with visible injuries to her body.
The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma and drowning. The manner of death was classified as manslaughter.
Susan was 5’04” tall, weighed 130 pounds, and had shoulder-length brown hair. She was wearing a purple tank top at the time of her death.
At 8:54 a.m. that same day, Susan’s black 2016 Honda Civic was found parked next to the Rising Sun Lane Bridge over the Brandywine River, approximately three miles upstream from where Susan’s body was recovered.
Police later announced that based on the timeline and the course of the river, it is not believed that Susan entered the Brandywine where the vehicle was parked.
Using video surveillance footage found in the area and their cellphone recordings, detectives were able to create a partial history of their activities.
Susan was active on her cell phone all night, texting and calling friends until 2:45 a.m. At 3:02 am, Susan’s car pulls out of her driveway and about two minutes later it’s parked on Walkers Mill Road.
Based on the elapsed time, detectives believe the Honda drove straight from the house to where it was found.
Detectives confirmed through data from a Fitbit worn by Susan that she was alive until about 7 a.m.
However, their whereabouts between 3am and 7am are unknown. Investigators also don’t know what prompted her to leave her home.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11599651/Husband-woman-2019-murder-remains-unsolved-arrested-attacking-current-wife.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The husband of a woman whose 2019 murder remains unsolved is arrested after assaulting his current wife