The brother of an 18-year-old woman whose body was found three days after she went missing near her home in Devon has led tributes to her, describing her as “beautiful and talented”.
Police in Plymouth launched a murder inquiry after finding a body believed to be that of Bobbi-Anne McLeod. Two men aged 24 and 26 have been arrested.
A source with knowledge of the investigation said it was most likely a stranger abduction, and detectives are trying to establish how many people were involved.
Police are also trying to establish what the motive for the murder may have been, with a sexual motive being a significant line of inquiry.
McLeod had been due to catch a bus into Plymouth city centre to meet friends on Saturday evening. She left her home in Leigham at about 6pm but did not arrive.
Detectives are investigating whether McLeod, who had waited at a bus stop, went willingly with occupants of a passing car, or was abducted.
A local MP said on Wednesday the death was another disturbing example of the “cultural problem of violence against women”.
McLeod’s brother, Lee, 20, posted a picture on Facebook of himself and his sister together as children and wrote: “Until we meet again sis. I love you. You didn’t deserve this. Such a beautiful and talented girl and to have you as my little sister. The adventure and journey we had been on will always be treasured. Now go rest easy.”
Amanda Isaacs, a close friend and neighbour, also paid tribute after setting up a GoFundMe page that has already raised thousands of pounds for McLeod’s family.
She wrote: “She was a beautiful young girl only aged 18 with her whole life ahead of her. As you can imagine her family are going through hell. She deserves the best send-off as the beautiful girl she come into this world. RIP sleep tight with nan and grandad. You’re with the angels now.”
The body was located near Bovisand in South Hams, on the south coast of Devon, about six miles from Plymouth, after information was passed to the police.
Devon and Cornwall police said on Tuesday night that formal identification had yet to be carried out but McLeod’s family had been informed of the development and were being supported by officers.
Police had been conducting searches and inquiries across Plymouth, supported by a helicopter. A Facebook page set up to help find McLeod attracted more than 13,000 members. Friends and local residents joined searches of woods near her home on Monday and Tuesday.
Smeaton’s Tower, a lighthouse on the waterfront, will be lit purple on Wednesday evening, drawing attention to the abuse of women.
The Labour MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, Luke Pollard, said Britain had a cultural problem with violence against women.
He said: “I suspect there will be people in our city who will want to look again at what is happening in the violence against women and girls area. We know that there is too much violence against women and girls. It is completely unacceptable. We have a cultural problem right across Britain. We need to look at how we keep everybody safe in Plymouth.”
Pollard referred to the Keyham shootings in Plymouth in August in which five people were killed by Jake Davison, 22, before he turned the gun on himself.
The MP said: “It’s now three months since the Keyham shootings took place and our city was beginning to heal and come to terms with the awful events that took place in August.”