Where Is Leah? How Daryl's Old Friend Could Return to The Walking Dead

Where is Leah? When The Walking Dead flashes back to the years Daryl (Norman Reedus) spent searching for Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl comes across a cabin where he meets a 12 gauge-wielding woman (Lynn Collins) and her only companion: a friendly Dog. It's revealed a romantic relationship developed between Leah and Daryl during the six-year time jump in Season 9, which happened after Rick went missing and was believed dead. In "Find Me," we discover Daryl meets Leah three years into his dogged search for Rick's body. Four years later, in the present-day Season 10, Daryl returns to her cabin — only to find it empty.

Daryl and Carol (Melissa McBride), out hunting with Dog, come across Leah's abandoned cabin. It was here, two years earlier, Leah asked Daryl where he belongs: out on the river looking for Rick or here with her? He chooses his brother.

Before leaving the area, Daryl returns to the cabin to find it empty for the first time. Dog is there, but Leah left behind an emptied picture frame that once held a photo of her and her late son. Opening up her hiding spot in the floorboards, Daryl leaves Leah canned food and a note: "I belong with you. Find me."

In the present, Carol asks about Leah. "You think she's still alive?" Daryl doesn't know. "Or maybe somebody took her?" He doesn't know. "Is it possible that she just left?" What?

"It's not an accusation," Carol clarifies.

"Nah," Daryl says. "I walked away. I did. I was down by that river." Trying to help, Carol tells him: "Stop thinking that every time you lose someone it's because of you, something you did wrong. We all make mistakes. Losing Leah, that's not on you. Neither is Rick. Or Connie."

Daryl's search for Rick and the still-missing Connie (Lauren Ridloff) have both turned up empty, but will he find Leah? The character has no counterpart in the comic books, but the book did reunite Michonne with someone she thought lost when the group reached a new community called the Commonwealth — home to the white-armored soldiers who have a larger role to play in the upcoming Season 11.

Leah isn't the first survivor to vanish without a trace. Both Rick and Heath (Corey Hawkins), who went missing back in Season 7, were shuttled away from Virginia by the Civic Republic Military. This black-clad military force appears in The Walking Dead: World Beyond, taking place concurrently with Season 10, and will return in the upcoming second season of the spin-off and the untitled Walking Dead feature films.

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If Leah doesn't reappear in the 24-episode final season premiering this summer, she could return in the untitled Daryl/Carol Spin-Off set for 2023. This series will take the two survivors on the road, and possibly out west to New Mexico — a destination Daryl mentioned earlier in Season 10. Wherever Leah is, Daryl made a promise to Dog: "We're gonna get her back."

Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. New episodes of The Walking Dead extended Season 10 premiere Sundays at 9 pm ET/8c on AMC.