Leah Croucher: Murder probe launched as police find missing teen’s ‘personal possessions’

(Thames Valley Police/PA) (PA Media)
(Thames Valley Police/PA) (PA Media)

A murder investigation has been launched after police investigating the disappearance of teenager Leah Croucher found her “personal possessions” at a property in Milton Keynes.

The 19-year-old was last seen in the city on 15 February 2019 when CCTV images captured her walking along Buzzacott Lane. It was thought she was making her way to work but she never arrived.

A large-scale missing person investigation was launched but no trace of her had been found until Monday.

Officers working on the case began searching an address on Loxbeare Drive, Furzton on Monday evening, following a call from a member of the public. Items were discovered including “a rucksack and personal possessions belonging to Leah Croucher”.

As a result, detectives have launched a murder investigation, Thames Valley Police (TVP) said on Wednesday.

Leah Croucher was last seen on 15 February (PA Media)
Leah Croucher was last seen on 15 February (PA Media)

The force described the scene as “complex and challenging”, saying they would remain there for a “significant period of time”.

Ian Hunter, detective chief superintendent, said: “We are dealing with a very difficult scene but we can now confirm that we have discovered a number of items that are linked to Leah, and as such, we have now launched a murder investigation, led by our major crime unit.

“Leah’s family have been kept updated and continue to be supported by officers, and we are urging the public and media to think of her family and not to speculate further while this investigation is in the early stages.

“We will provide further updates when we are able to do so.”

He added: “There remains a scene watch in place at the address while this investigation continues, and we are committed to ensuring that our enquiries at the scene are thorough.

“During our search for Leah, we have committed hundreds of officers and staff over the last three and a half years, reviewing 1,200 hours of CCTV and conducted more than 4,000 house-to-house inquiries and offered several rewards for information to lead us to Leah.

“The call from the member of the public that we received on Monday was the first occasion that we were alerted to this address, and we thank them for contacting us immediately to report their concerns.

“Our thoughts remain with Leah’s family and friends, and we will continue to offer them all the support that they need.”

Ms Croucher’s family have been informed and her family are being supported by specialist officers.