Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s tearful mum speaks at emotional vigil for ‘murdered’ teen


Hundreds of people have tonight attended a candle-lit vigil tonight where the family of murdered teen Bobbi-Anne McLeod spoke publicly for the first time.

The mother of Bobbi-Anne sobbed as she paid tribute to her daughter and thanked friends, family and the wider community for their support.

Surrounded by other family members, her voice trembled but she completed a prepared statement.

She said: “I would like to thank everyone for coming, on behalf of the family. It’s nice everyone is coming together in the circumstances.

“Unfortunately, our beautiful Bobbi-Anne has been taken from us, but she will never be forgotten.

Bobbi-Anne McLeod was reported missing on November 20
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“I’d like everyone to hold their candles up. This is for Bobbi-Anne”.

This was followed by a moment of silence as the entire crowd held up their candles in unison.

The vigil and tributes were held next to bus stop where she vanished on Saturday.

Earlier, Bobbi-Anne’s family including her parents, grandparents and siblings, left their home and walked the short distance to the bus stop flanked by dozens more supporters, carrying balloons.

Family, friends and members of the public gather by Sheepstor Road bus stop for a candlelit vigil in tribute of Bobbi-Anne McLeod
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The family group then held up their candles in unison before releasing around 40 balloons into the sky.

One onlooker said: “It was a really touching, emotional moment as Bobbi-Anne’s mother hugged her daughters and many of us started sobbing.”

The family also left a book for people to write loving memories about her as they looked on and embraced.

Laying flowers just before the vigil, close friends Ellie and Summer, both 18, said they felt ‘sick’ knowing what had happened.

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Ellie said: “I feel awful, I was quite close with Bobbi, I went to school with her, and also really close with Lee (her brother) who I’ve been messaging this whole time.

“I’ve not heard much from him though, but I just feel awful for him.

“She was just the nicest kid I’ve ever met in my life, it’s the nicest ones who are taken early, and it’s just horrible. Nobody deserves to be treated like that.

Hundreds of devastated mourners lit candles and released balloons at the vigil tonight
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“When you’re so local, and when you know Bobbi, it hits home so hard how vulnerable you can be. I just don’t know what to say about it – there are no words.

“I was eating my tea when I heard about what happened, and I just dropped everything and started crying. It’s all just horrible – even getting off the bus I thought I just thought I couldn’t look”.

One mourner lights a candle to create a heart at the vigil in Plymouth tonight
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Summer said: “It’s just been such a shock for everyone. My Auntie’s house is just down the road, I could have been at that bus stop – anyone could have been at that bus stop.

“It just makes me feel sick, how can anyone do this? Who wakes up in the morning and thinks they’re going to do that to a girl?

“I think it’s time to recognise that us girls need to be allowed to have pepper sprays and weapons, because look at us girls – there are men out there and they’re stronger than us and think we’re all weak.

Hundreds of family, friends and locals gather at Sheepstor Road bus stop to hear Bobbi-Anne’s family speak for the time since she was reported missing
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“They just look at us and we do nothing wrong, and they think it’s okay to come and take us. Us girls need something for protection, we can scream and shout, but what’s that going to do? She probably screamed and shouted and that didn’t help her.”

Another local mum Julie Evans, who attended the vigil, said it was such a shock and said she worries for her own daughter,

She said: “I first heard on our facebook group that she had been missing, but you don’t think anything untoward happened. But then it just kept going on and on.

Parents expressed their concerns for the children after Bobbi-Anne was reported missing
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“Seeing all the police and forensic teams just makes it all more real. It is so scary to think someone can just be taken like that.

“My daughter has always assumed I’m just being over protective, walking her to places and everything – but it’s just what you do as a mum to not frighten them but just keep them safe.

“It makes you feel like you want to just hold them closer. You’d think there would be more cameras and security around here.”

Mourners left flowers and pictures of Bobbi-Anne at the vigil
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Lauren Wallace, 22, added: “It’s just so shocking that it happened so close. When you live so nearby on your doorstep, and you see everything going on, it’s just a shock.

“I definitely feel more nervous now to go out.

“You hear about women being followed around here, but until it happens just two bus stops down from us, she was literally just getting the bus – and it was on such a busy road too.

Flowers are left at the bus stop where Bobbi-Anne was last seen before she was reported missing
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“She’s probably done that trip thousands of times, it was just her normal routine”.

The entire area has now been covered in lit candles and a pile of flowers full of photos and tributes to the much-loved teen.

It comes as police today have said there is ‘no known link’ between the teenager and the suspect being questioned on suspicion of her murder.

Bobbi-Anne left her home in the Leigham area of Plymouth at about 6pm on Saturday evening.

Police found a body near Bovisand, south of Plymouth, on Tuesday and although formal identification has not yet been carried out, Bobbi-Anne’s family have been informed of the discovery and are being supported by investigators.

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper confirmed that investigations continued, but that there is no known link between the suspect and victim.

Anyone with information which may assist the ongoing investigation is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 706 22/11/21.




www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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