Police searching for Leah knocked on the door her remains feared to be in - but only put leaflet through the door

12 October 2022, 13:26 | Updated: 13 October 2022, 14:07

Pictures of Leah Croucher from Thames Valley Police and one of the scene this afternoon from LBC
Pictures of Leah Croucher from Thames Valley Police and one of the scene this afternoon from LBC. Picture: Thames Valley Police and LBC
Fran Way

By Fran Way

Police searching for missing teenager Leah Croucher admitted knocking on the door of the house her remains are feared to be located in – but instead of going back or investigating it further, simply put a leaflet through the door.

The suburban property was previously home to a paedophile who was jailed for vicious attacks on girls but it is understood he was locked up at the time the 19-year-old vanished.

A comment from Thames Valley Police said: “Monday was the first time we were alerted to this property by a member of the public in connection with this investigation.

"As such, we can confirm that the house has never been entered as part of the original investigation.

"However, as an address in Furzton, the address was visited as part our house to house enquiries as part of the investigation, during which we visited more than 4,000 addresses.

"There was no response at the property and as such leaflets would have been dropped through the letterbox."

The house, on Loxbeare Drive in Furzton is only yards away from the park she was last seen in as she walked to work on February 15, 2019.

The last confirmed sighting was at 8.16am on CCTV in Buzzacott Lane, Furzton and the last activity on her phone was just after 8.30am that day.

She was wearing a black coat, skinny jeans, all black hi-top Converse trainers. A grey hoodie with the Stewartby Tawkwondo logo and carrying a small black rucksack.

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A map of Leah Croucher's walk home
A map of Leah Croucher's walk home. Picture: Thames Valley Police

The major breakthrough in the investigation came this week, when on Monday, workmen inside the house alerted police to their suspicions.

After investigating, officers discovered some of Leah’s personal belongings including the black rucksack.

Yesterday afternoon it was confirmed that forensics had found human remains.

A statement from the force said: “We are now in a position to confirm that, very sadly, we have located human remains at the property in connection with the Leah Croucher investigation.

“Following a call from a member of the public on Monday, specialist officers and forensic teams attended the location.

“A number of items that were linked to Leah were found at the scene.

“During our ongoing forensic examinations at the scene, we have identified human remains.

“The forensic examination continues and will do for some time.

“It is likely to take some time to formally identify the deceased.

“Leah’s family continue to be kept informed and updated.”

Picture of the scene this morning
Picture of the scene this morning. Picture: LBC

For years, Thames Valley Police visited watched more than 1,200 hours of CCTV in desperate attempts to find any clues that could lead to her whereabouts.

A faded missing person poster with a £5,000 reward, is still tacked to a tree just yards away from the suburban property.

Complete with photographs of Leah it said: “She followed her normal routine including leaving home at her normal time and walking the route that she took to work in Knowhill, approximately two miles away.

"Leah did not call in sick to work. She took no money or clothes. She told no-one she was planning on running away from home or where she was going."

Leah Croucher’s family were struck by further tragedy when her brother Haydon Croucher, died aged 24, just nine months after she disappeared in 2019.

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