Leah Croucher's parents say 'darkest fears have come true' on visit to house where remains found

A note left by Leah Croucher's parents said their "darkest fears have come true".
Credit: PA
Leah Croucher's sister Jade Croucher, father John Croucher and mother Claire Croucher visit to look at flowers. Credit: PA

The parents of missing teenager Leah Croucher said their "darkest fears" had been realised, as they left flowers at a house where human remains were discovered.

The discovery was made at a house in Milton Keynes along with a rucksack belonging to Leah, 19, who went missing nearby on 15 February 2019.

In a note left among the tributes at the scene, they said they would “cherish her memories forever”.

It said: “Our darkest fears have come true, we only need to be apart a little longer. We have so missed you for so long already.

“The future looks so bleak now we know we will never see your smile or hear your laughter again. We will cherish your memories forever.

“We love you. Mum and Dad xx xx”

Leah Croucher's sister Jade Croucher, father John Croucher and mother Claire Croucher lay flowers. Credit: PA

They visited just before 8pm on Thursday, arriving in a police vehicle which drove them beyond the cordon which has been in place since Monday night.

They reappeared minutes later and laid flowers at a nearby memorial, made up of bouquets, teddy bears and candles left by members of the public.

The family looked at the floral tributes before heading back to the car with what appeared to be a police officer in plain clothes.

Thames Valley Police had moved passers-by standing at the tributes to the other side of the road just before they arrived.

Police began searching the property on Monday night following a tip-off from a member of the public. They announced two days later that they had found human remains, alongside items which were confirmed to be Leah's.

Formal identification has not yet taken place, and police are expected to remain at the scene for several days.

A note from Leah Croucher's sister Jade was left among the tributes. Credit: PA

A bouquet of mixed flowers in tribute to Miss Croucher, from “your big sister and nephew Reggie”, was also laid by the family.

It read: “To my beautiful sister Leah. My heart has broken, my mind racing with thoughts and my body numb.

“How can a life a beautiful as yours come to an end in such a tragic way?

“I have loved you from your first breath and I will love you until my last.

“There has never been a moment where you were not in my thoughts and there never will be.”

Police have appealed for witnesses, urging anyone who was in the area of Loxbeare Drive on the morning of 15 February 2019 to come forward to police if they remember seeing Leah or anything suspicious.

Forensics experts have been scouring the property.

Forensics officers and police at the house in Loxbeare Drive, Furzton, Milton Keynes. Credit: PA

Blue tarpaulins could be seen in the back garden of the house where investigators had erected tall black screens and a police tent in the front driveway, blocking the view from the street.

A three-and-a-half year search for Ms Croucher, who was 19 when she went missing, is focusing on the two-storey brick house which is less than half a mile from where she was last seen.

Thames Valley Police said it had found human remains at the property on Wednesday, and that investigators would be there “for some time”.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know