Police in missing teenager probe search beach after body found

·4-min read

Police are searching a beach close to Plymouth where the body of a woman was found on Tuesday in the hunt for missing 18-year-old Bobbi-Anne McLeod.

A cordon has been set up blocking off access to the road leading to the Bovisand cafe and car park, and also the holiday park, where a number of people are still staying in caravans.

Ms McLeod left her home in Leigham at around 6pm on Saturday evening to catch a bus to Plymouth town centre to meet friends but never arrived.

Bobbi-Anne McLeod missing
Police cordon off the road leading to the Bovisand cafe and car park (Ben Birchall/PA)

The body, which has yet to be formally identified but is thought to be Ms McLeod, was found on Tuesday following an extensive police search on the ground and by helicopter.

Two men aged 24 and 26, both from Plymouth, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are currently in custody, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

A sniffer dog was searching the area close to the bus stop where Ms McLeod was last seen, while forensic officers conducted sweeps of the surrounding banks and pavement.

Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that inquiries were continuing “at pace” and that the two suspects were still being held in custody.

Speaking outside Crownhill police station in Plymouth, she said: “Officers on the ground have been and are continuing to be supported by specialists resources whilst extensive searches and forensic examination of a number of scenes is carried out.”

Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper reads a statement outside Crownhill police station in Plymouth
Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper reads a statement outside Crownhill police station in Plymouth (Ben Birchall/PA)

Ms Leaper said the public could expect to see an increased police presence in Plymouth over the coming days.

“Whilst of course we understand the public interest in this investigation, we remind the public that this is a live and active case and we ask them not to speculate at this time.”

She said Devon and Cornwall Police were committed to providing information on the investigation “as and when”, but refused to take questions, saying: “We must maintain the integrity of this investigation.”

It is understood the route to Bovisand beach, where the body was found, is likely to remain closed for the next 24 to 48 hours.

Locals have been laying floral tributes close to the site of Ms McLeod’s disappearance.

A woman lays flowers on Sheepstor Road in Plymouth
A woman lays flowers on Sheepstor Road in Plymouth (PA)

One tribute read: “Sadly you have gained your wings and been taken too soon, you will forever be in our hearts.”

It continued: “No matter what, you will always be that bundle of joy I call my cousin.”

Forensic teams were on Wednesday also searching an area of woodland in Leigham, close to where Ms McLeod was last seen.

A large area off Thurlestone Walk was cordoned off and officers could be seen leaving with evidence bags while others conducted finger-tip searches.

Bobbi-Anne McLeod missing
Crime scene investigators near Sheepstor Road (Ben Birchall/PA)

Ms McLeod’s brother, Lee, wrote a tribute to his “beautiful and talented” sister in a Facebook post.

Mr McLeod, who had been using his profile to rally local people to help find the teenager, said: “Until we meet again sis… I love you. You didn’t deserve this”.

“(The) journey we had been on will always be treasured now go rest easy”.

A Facebook group set up to find the teenager attracted more than 10,000 members in just two days.

A GoFundMe page set up by Amanda Isaacs, a neighbour of Ms McLeod, to pay for her funeral, has so far raised more than £5,500.

Ms Isaacs said: “I am a close friend and neighbour of Bobbi and her family. Unfortunately it has been confirmed after three days of searching she has sadly been taken from us.

“She was a beautiful young girl only aged 18 with her whole life ahead off her.”

Bobbi-Anne McLeod missing
Police carry out a search after the body of a woman was found in the hunt for missing Plymouth teenager Bobbi-Anne McLeod (Ben Birchall/PA)

Ms Isaacs said Ms McLeod’s family are “going through hell”, adding that she hoped the fundraiser would lessen some of the stress on them.

Ms Isaacs is also organising a candlelit vigil at 6pm on Thursday close to the bus stop on Bampton Road, Leigham, where Ms Mcleod went missing.

She urged those who are unable to attend to light a candle at 6pm in Ms McLeod’s memory.

Chief Superintendent Matt Longman said on Tuesday evening: “This is weighing heavy on the people of Plymouth tonight, it really is.

“And I would just like to send my thoughts to the friends and family of Bobbi-Anne; that actually feels like it’s a relatively inadequate thing to say at such a time.

“But we are continuing to do everything we can to understand exactly what’s happened around this event”.

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