Missing Leah Croucher: Police hunting for teen release photo of mystery figure by lake


Leah Croucher, 19, was last seen at 8.16am on CCTV in Furzton, Milton Keynes the morning of February 15, 2019, meaning today is the third anniversary of the last time she was seen on CCTV

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Police release CCTV of missing teenager Leah Croucher

Police today released new pictures in a renewed bid to find a missing teen on the third anniversary of her disappearance.

Leah Croucher, then 19, was last seen by her family at 10pm on Valentine’s Day.

She was reported missing from Emerson Valley, Milton Keynes the next day after she failed to turn up to work

The last confirmed sighting of the teenager was at 8.16am on CCTV in Furzton the morning of February 15 and the last activity on her mobile was just after 8.30am the same day.

Today is the third anniversary of her disappearance prompting Thames Valley Police to renew her appeal to find Leah.

Police released a new image from Furzton Lake, which shows a figure of a person dressed in black from the day Leah disappeared.

Police have released new CCTV pictures to help their search for Leah Croucher, who went missing three years ago
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Image:

Thames Valley Police)

Police are keen to identify and speak to this dog walker who they believe was in the vicinity of Furtzon Lake on the morning of February 15, 2019
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Image:

Thames Valley Police)

It is not clear if it is Leah, but the image also shows members of the public, who the police would like to speak with to help with their investigation.

Police have said that the images released today give them “real optimism” in their investigation.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard, said: “The image we are releasing today is not of a high quality, but I am hoping that somebody will recognize themselves as being in this picture.”

He also said he is particularly keen to speak to a dog walker who was seen in the area at the time of Leah’s disappearance.

This image released by police show individuals they would like to speak to in regards to Leah’s disappearance
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Image:

Thames Valley Police)

He also added that an image circulating online suggesting to be a sighting of Leah in Eaton Bray, Beds, has been ruled out as being the missing teen.

DCI Howard continued: “I am keen to hear from the group of people in this image; it may be that you regularly walk in this area and will recognize yourselves.

“I would also like to hear from the person in the image walking her dog.

“If you have not already got in touch with the police, I would urge you to do so, as you may have a vital piece of information that would be key to this investigation.

“I’m am particularly keen to identify the person seen in the image who is dressed in black.

This CCTV image, which has been previously released by police, shows Leah’s last confirmed sighting in Buzzacott Lane
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Image:

Thames Valley Police)

“This photograph was taken at 10.51am on the morning of February 15, 2019.

“It is not possible from the image to say whether or not the person dressed in black is Leah but we have witnesses in the area of ​​the lake at around this time who describes seeing a young female in black clothing who is described as appearing distracted or upset, and possibly using her phone.

“Despite previous appeals, we have so far been unable to establish the identity of this female and so if you believe this was you or you know who it is, please contact the police.”

Leah was reported missing in 2019 as police are still investigating her disappearance

With every passing day, Leah’s disappearance remains a mystery and the force remains determined to seek the answers for Leah’s family and friends.

DCI Howard also highlighted that on the day Leah was last seen she took a different route to work than the one she did the previous day.

He continued: “However it appears that this was not the route Leah took to work on February 15.

“It is for this reason we are appealing to the people who are local to these areas and feel that there could still be someone out there with information we need.

“I genuinely believe that there are people in the area that morning who will have seen Leah and who can help the investigation.

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“We also know that the evening before Leah went missing, having arrived home from work, she left her address in Emerson Valley between approximately 6pm and 7.15pm.

“We don’t know where Leah went during that period and would ask people to think back to that evening in case they were in that area and saw or spoke to Leah.

“Where was she? Was she with anybody? What was she doing?

“The fact that images taken by Furzton Lake on February 15 have recently been provided to the investigation gives us real optimism that further information is out there that can assist in finding Leah.

“It’s never too late to come forward with information to help our investigation, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you.

“The constant anguish that Leah’s family have had to live with is never lost on me.”

He added: “The response from the public since Leah went missing has been excellent and I know that Leah’s case remains very much at the forefront of the minds of the residents of Milton Keynes.

“Members of the local community have generously offered a £20,000 reward for information that leads to Leah being found, and that reward is still available.”

On the second anniversary of Leah’s disappearance, her heartbroken family released an emotional statement saying: “It’s now been two years since our beautiful, wonderful daughter Leah, left for work and vanished without a trace. Missing. Gone.

“To say they have been a hard two years is an understatement. They have been the longest and toughest two years of our lives.”

Anyone who has information that could lead to the force locating Leah Croucher is asked to contact 101 quoting reference number 43190049929, or Operation Dawlish.

Information can be left via our dedicated website for this investigation, which is https://mipp.police.uk/operation/43H218A55-PO1/.

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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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