LAMPASAS — A Lampasas County official said this week the murder investigation of a former Killeen Independent School District teacher who was found dead in the front yard of his home in November has been closed.
Harold Leate Jr., 66, was found with several stab and cut wounds at his residence in the 200 block of County Road 3355 near Kempner on Nov. 3.
The joint investigation by the Lampasas Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Rangers linked Harold Leate’s death to Grace Leate, 52, his former wife.
Grace Leate died at Scott & White Medical Center-Temple of a drug overdose after Harker Heights police discovered her unresponsive in a hotel room in the 500 block of Pan American Drive on Nov. 3.
Police determined during the investigation that Grace Leate had stabbed her ex-husband before she overdosed, considering the incident a murder-suicide.
No other suspects were investigated.
Fonda Rhoades, records and evidence specialist for the Lampasas County Sheriff’s Department believes the case has been closed. “I have not seen a final (report), but I’m pretty sure it is.”
Grace and Harold Leate had been married but divorced in 2014, officials said.
Grace Leate, listed as Grace Bowker in the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry, was a registered sex offender in Lampasas County. According to the registry, she was convicted on charges of indecency with a 7-year-old boy by exposure and sentenced to five years in a state penitentiary. She was placed in the registry in July 2010.
Harker Heights police said Grace Leate was found unresponsive at 2:25 p.m. Nov. 3 in a hotel room in the 500 block of Pan American Drive and taken to Seton Medical Center. She was believed to have checked into the hotel days before Harold Leate’s body was found.
Heights police reported to the hotel on a welfare check after hotel staff said Grace Leate did not return phone calls to the room.
After initial treatment at Seton Medical Center, Grace Leate was transferred to Scott & White. Lampasas County officials said it was unclear if Grace Leate was employed at the time of the incident.
Upon responding to the hotel, Heights police notified Lampasas County officials, who later found Harold Leate’s body in front of the home he and Grace Leate shared. No other family members are believed to have lived in the residence.
Harold Leate was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Andrew Garcia Jr. He was buried Nov. 10 at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen.
County officials said numerous firearms and knives were found in the residence where the stabbing appeared to occur. Officials said they do not know whether any of the knives recovered were used in the stabbing.
It is still unknown how the body ended up in the front yard or how long it had been there before being found. Officials said they have also not determined a motive or time of death.
No other suspects are being investigated, officials said, but forensic lab and autopsy results are pending.
Leate, an 18-year Army veteran, was a longtime science and world culture teacher at Nolan Middle School in Killeen and retired in 2016. He served in Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm and later earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and a master’s degree from Concordia University.