Police in Milton Keynes have filed a fresh appeal to trace local girl Leah Croucher, ahead of her 21st birthday this week.
Croucher has not been seen since February last year. In the lead up to Leah’s 21st birthday, which is on Friday, local police are launching a new appeal for witnesses, who may have any information relating to her disappearance, nearly 18 months after she was reported missing.
She was last spotted on a CCTV camera in Milton Keynes on February 15th 2019, and there have been no confirmed sightings since.
Her family reported her missing the same day (15/2/19), after they last saw her at 10pm the night before (14/2/19) at their home address in Quantock Crescent in Milton Keynes.
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard, of the Major Crime Unit, is leading the appeals, and detailed her last known movements.
He said: “On the morning of Friday, February 15, 2019, Leah left her home address in Quantock Crescent. We know that at 8.07am, she was spotted on a CCTV camera in Leigh Hill, just a matter of metres away from Quantock Crescent.
“At 8.16am, Leah was seen again on CCTV in Buzzacott Lane, approximately a ten minute walk from her home address. She was heading in the direction of Dulverton Drive, towards Tellytubbie Hill.
“However since that sighting on CCTV, there have been no further confirmed sightings of Leah at all.”
DCI Howard said he found it hard to believe nobody saw her on the day she disappeared, and appealed for residents of local areas to help police with their inquiries.
Areas cited of interest included the areas around Furzton, Knowlhill and Shnley Lodge.
He said, “Leah walked to work in Knowlhill most mornings, and it is believed that she was on her way to work as usual at this time. Leah would often take different variations of her walking route; we know that on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 February that Leah crossed from Furzton into Shenley Lodge and walked up Faraday Drive towards Knowlhill; but we also know that she would sometimes walk the routes that took her directly around part of Furzton Lake.
“Leah’s workplace is in Davy Avenue, which means that Leah’s walk to work is approximately two miles long. It is a busy route through largely residential areas, and therefore I believe that at such a busy time in the morning it’s highly likely that other members of the public will have walked, cycled, or driven past her. Somebody must have seen Leah after she passed the CCTV camera on Buzzacott Lane.
“I would like to reach out and appeal to the residents and commuters in this area, particularly Buzzacott Lane, Dulverton Drive, Loxbeare Avenue and the roads close to Furzton Lake, as well as Faraday Drive and the roads surrounding it.
“We know these locations were such a feature of Leah’s weekday routine. She would have been walking along these roads and streets, between Emerson Valley, through Furzton and Shenley Lodge and into Knowlhill habitually between 8am and 9am each weekday morning.
“I find it very hard to believe that nobody saw Leah on the morning of February 15. If you are a resident of these areas, or were at the time of Leah’s disappearance, or if you are somebody that regularly uses that area to commute or for exercise please cast your mind back to that day and particularly that morning. It was the day after Valentine’s Day and the last day before the schools finished for half-term.
“Did you see a girl matching Leah’s description or did you see or hear anything that caught your attention that you may previously have thought was insignificant? If so, and you haven’t yet spoken to the police we need to hear from you.”
DCI Howard confirmed a reward of £10,000 offered by two local donors for information that directly leads to Leah being found is still available.
He also asked for anybody with information to get in contact, either online, by phone, or physically in a police station..
He said, “If anybody has any information that may assist us in finding Leah please do the right thing and contact us. Please consider the impact on Leah’s family of them not knowing what has happened to her and help us to give them the answers they are so desperately seeking.
“Leah, if you are able to see or hear this appeal, please contact us. We just want to know that you are ok and to be able to support you. You are not in any trouble and anything you wish to tell us will be treated in confidence and with sensitivity. Many, many people are wishing for your safe return.
“Information can be left via our dedicated website for this investigation, which is mipp.police.uk/operation/43H218A55-PO1/ call 101 or visit a police station, quoting investigation number 43190049929.”