Beds, Herts & Bucks

Missing Leah Croucher: Teen 'lied about Valentine's Day whereabouts'

Leah Croucher Image copyright South Beds News Agency/BBC
Image caption A £5,000 reward has been offered for information about Leah Croucher's disappearance

A missing teenager lied to her parents about where she was on Valentine's Day, police searching for her have said.

Leah Croucher, 19, disappeared while walking to work in Milton Keynes at about 08:15 GMT on 15 February.

Thames Valley Police said Leah told her parents she was meeting a friend when she left the house at 18:00 on 14 February, but that was not the case.

Officers are now appealing for information about where Leah was between 18:00 and 19:15.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency/BBC
Image caption Ms Croucher was last seen wearing a black coat, black skinny jeans, black converse and a grey hooded top with the "Stewartby Taekwondo" logo on

Det Ch Insp Andy Howard said Leah left work on Valentine's Day and walked around the Eastern side of Furzton Lake in Milton Keynes on her way home.

At about 17:45 she changed the settings on her mobile phone, which police believe may have been to disable location services.

When Leah arrived home she changed into jogging bottoms and told her family she was going to see a friend.

Det Ch Insp Howard said: "I cannot say what has happened to Leah.

"I sincerely hope she will hear this appeal. Leah if you are listening please contact Thames Valley Police to let us know you are safe. You are not in any trouble."

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Despite extensive searches officers "have found no trace of Leah"

Last week Leah's brother Haydon Croucher, 23, appeared in court accused of making threats to a man he described as Leah's ex-boyfriend.

Mr Croucher accepted a voluntary restraining order after it was decided it was not in the public interest to pursue the prosecution.

In April, police said three people had reported possible sightings of Leah near Furzton Lake between 09:30 and 11:15 on the day she went missing.

All three described her as being on her phone and two said they saw a female who was visibly angry, upset and crying.

Despite extensive searches, poster and media appeals there have been no confirmed sightings and no leads.

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