Body in the Brandywine

Susan Ledyard had what many saw as a charmed life, growing up in a wealthy enclave of elite families on the East Coast. Private schools, summers at a family beach house, a Masters degree from Georgetown followed by a brief teaching adventure in Czechoslovakia, before finding her perfect job as a beloved high school English teacher back in her hometown suburb near Wilmington, Delaware. Loved ones described her as brilliant, witty, and full of life. So all were shocked when early one morning in July 2019, Susan was found murdered — her battered body floating in Delaware’s Brandywine River. Who could possibly want Susan dead? How has her killer gotten away with such a high-profile crime in a tight-knit and watchful community where secrets are hard to keep? And what was Susan doing from 3am when her car left her house until 7am when her FitBit tracker indicated her heart stopped beating?

The Morrissey family is offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of Susan’s killer. They are also committed to honoring Susan’s life and have established the Susan Morrissey Foundation to provide an annual scholarship to english students at Academy Park high school, where she taught. If you know anything that can shed light on this baffling case, please contact Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-tip-3333, or submit your tip to

UPDATE: In January of 2023, Susan’s husband Benjamin Ledyard was arrested on charges of second-degree assault, terroristic threatening, and menacing in an attack on his new wife, Stephanie Ledyard. Delaware State Police have maintained that this assault charge is separate from the investigation into Susan’s death, which remains open and active.

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  1. Dee

    This is clearly not a mystery of who did it. I do not care how ‘cooperative’ her husband was with police. His stories didn’t add up, he lied multiple times throughout the investigation, and was unaccounted for, for multiple hours before and after her death. He should have been further investigated based off of those things alone. There’s been many cases where the killer cooperates in the investigation to purposely not seem like a suspect. Now he has harmed his new wife, which could have been preventable had those involved not turned a blind eye to his behavior during this case. If he was capable of this brutal attack on his new wife, he’s capable of murder.


  2. Cris Barrish This is journalist Cris Barrish, who reported and wrote this piece. I welcome anyone with information or possible information to reach out to me at


  3. Stephen

    WHYY released a news story on Jan 3 stating Ben Ledyard has been arrested and jailed for biting off the tip of his new wife’s finger last summer and then violently attacking her on New Years 2023.


  4. Joel Culpepper

    I call it the 3 Stooges.
    Anyone who knows the 3 players involved can put this puzzle back together quite quickly. Some information hasn’t been released that’s somewhat common knowledge in the small town of Wilmington De.
    I have faith that De State Police will eventually arrest those involved. Fortunately there is no statute
    of limitations on murder.


  5. Bill Blaski

    Very strange crime here….no ambien in her system, 3amto7am missing…. Husband changing stories, all signs to me point to an argument at home, crime was committed, 4hr window to cover the crime. This was not a random act of violence, keep the heat on!


  6. AnaMaria

    Can’t believe these cops act like they can’t arrest her husband for murdering this pretty lady. Grand juries that have indicted people for WAAAYYY less than what they’ve got on this guy. Husbands murder their wives all the time and cops let them off for it, just as they did in this case. I didn’t hear that cops had a search warrant for the home or looked at her hubbies cell records. They gave him plenty of time to clean up scene , get rid of what he beat her with.


  7. Catherine

    Susan and/or her husband Ben Ledyard are in Hunter Biden’s emails and in his infamous laptop. Apparently they were in the same extended social circle; Hunter Biden attended Tatnall School as did Susan. Here’s the org that’s been researching the laptop:


    • Sandy Beeche

      Hunter didn’t go to Tatnall. He went to Friends School and later to Archmere Academy.


      • NRV

        Stephanie and Hunter had an affair in the late 1990’s while Hunter was married to Kathleen and his kids were small BOTH Stephanie and Hunter were cocaine addicts at the time!!


    • AngInTheIcyTundra

      Y’all just can’t get stop obsessing over Hunter Biden can you? Lol
      How do you not see how insane you sound?


    • Oster

      Look no further, law enforcement — Catherine solved the crime. She thinks Hunter Biden killed this poor woman. Then she went back to huffing spray paint from a paper bag.


    • Sas

      Catherine, you sound like an uneducated fool. Start with getting your facts straight before spewing nonsense.


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