Beds, Herts & Bucks

Missing Leah Croucher's parents say end of lake search 'relief and a curse'

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

The parents of a woman who has been missing for eight months said a search of a lake that resulted in no progress was both "a relief and a curse".

Leah Croucher, 20, was last seen in Milton Keynes on 15 February.

A two-week search by Thames Valley Police of a lake and surrounding area at the Blue Lagoon nature reserve in Bletchley finished on Thursday.

Her father John Croucher said there were still "no answers" after hearing the news nothing had been found.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Police used divers, dogs and drones to try and find evidence of Leah

Ms Croucher was last seen by her parents at their home in Quantock Crescent, Milton Keynes, at 22:00 GMT on 14 February.

She told her family she was meeting a friend that night but police said the meeting did not happen and have appealed for information on where she was between 18:00 and 19:15.

CCTV showed Ms Croucher walking down Buzzacott Lane in Furzton, about half a mile from her home, at about 08:15 the next day, apparently heading in the direction of the finance company where she worked - but she has not been seen since.

Image copyright John Croucher
Image caption Leah's parents Claire and John Croucher have put up signs and posters to try and find their daughter

"I didn't want to find my daughter at the Blue Lagoon but still we have no answers," Mr Croucher said. "Where is she? Where has she gone?"

His wife Claire Croucher said: "It's a relief and a curse, we did not want to find Leah there."

Mrs Croucher said it was like her daughter had just stopped existing and said her disappearance had left them in "total despair, where do you look?"

There were no clues or evidence she had been planning to run away, she said.

"She was following her normal routine and she just vanished."

Mr Croucher said: "We just hope someone has information about her life that we didn't know. Come forward, tell the truth."

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Police previously released images of boots and the "distinctive" hoodie Leah Croucher was wearing
Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption CCTV footage showed Leah Croucher walking to work on the day she disappeared

Thames Valley police said it would continue to "review, assess and investigate all information" and the case remained a missing person inquiry.

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