Leschner

Crystal Leschner, shown here in the yellow shirt, is mourned by her family, some of whom still live in the Potter County area.

A Potter County native is remembered for her kind heart and care for her loved ones after the tragic discovery of her body in the early days of 2022 in a shed in the Pittsburgh area.

Crystal Leschner, 28, who grew up in Roulette, was living on Reifert Street in the Knoxville neighborhood of Pittsburgh when she was murdered at the close of 2021, according to police reports.

Crystal lived in Roulette growing up. Some of her family remains local.

Potter County resident Ashley Fredenburg, one of Leschner’s siblings, shared that Crystal was always a phone call away, despite living in Pittsburgh.

“Crystal had a big family. She had a mom, dad, stepfather, stepmother and many siblings (10 to be exact) and as big as her family was, she would do anything for any of her family members,” Fredenburg said. “Not only was she a great sister to us all, but she was also an amazing aunt to the many nieces and nephews that she had.

“Crystal was always there when we needed her. She always answered my phone calls or text messages and was always so concerned about how I was and very rarely mentioned anything that may have been going on in her life.”

Joe Leschner, another sibling, echoed Fredenburg’s feelings, noting “(Crystal) was a kind-hearted soul who just wanted the good and nice things in life. She would give you the shirt off her back if you asked for it. She certainly didn’t deserve to be killed and stuffed in a wall and then moved into a suitcase in a shed.”

According to the criminal complaint in the case, Crystal’s body was discovered by the homeowner Jan. 8 in a shed on the property where she lived in an apartment above the garage. Montel Reed, 26, who lived in the basement of the home on the same property, has been charged with her murder.

Police say Reed was charged on Dec. 7, 2021 with a domestic assault on Crystal and was released from Allegheny County Jail after being held for 10 days. On Jan. 6, he was arrested again, this time for an assault on a male, who is not named.

During questioning, Reed admitted to stabbing Crystal multiple times on Dec. 27, 2021 in her apartment. He hid her body in a storage space, according to the complaint. On Jan. 1, 2022, an incident occurred in that living area where Reed and another man were both stabbed and taken to the hospital. Reed told police he feared they would discover Crystal’s body at that time, but they did not. He then wrapped her in plastic and put it in a suitcase before moving her body to the shed.

For Crystal’s family, the loss of their loved one will be felt well beyond the timeline of a trial and any potential sentence for Reed.

“I will always miss my sister. I’ll miss our many memories. I’ll miss how she was there for the birth of my son and with me through such a hard pregnancy,” Fredenburg explained. “She wasn’t just like that for me, she was like that for her whole family. Losing Crystal is a tragic loss for our whole family. They always say, ‘You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.’ We didn’t just lose our sister; we lost our best friend.”

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