Police still 'cannot confirm' how missing Milton Keynes teenager Leah Croucher died

Leah Croucher went missing in February 2019 on her way to work. Credit: Family photo

Police have yet to reveal how a teenager - whose remains were found more than three and a half years after she disappeared - died.

It comes as the inquest into the death of Leah Croucher, who went missing in February 2019, was opened.

The 19-year-old is thought to have been killed by convicted sex offender Neil Maxwell, who killed himself two months after she went missing.

It took three years and eight months before her remains - and a number of her belongings - were found in a house at Loxbeare Drive in Milton Keynes.

Police said, at the time of her disappearance, 49-year-old Maxwell was the only person with keys to the property.

An inquest into her death was opened and adjourned on Wednesday by Milton Keynes' senior coroner Tom Osbourne. No cause of death was given.

A post-mortem examination carried out when Ms Croucher's remains were found in October 2022 was inconclusive.

On Wednesday, police said they were still unable to confirm the "specific detail" of how she died.

Police outside the house on Loxbeare Drive, Milton Keynes, where Leah Croucher's remains were found. Credit: ITV News Anglia

At the time of her discovery, a spokesman said: "Our investigations into Leah’s murder will leave no stone unturned, and we owe it to Leah’s family to ensure we find the truth.

“We are absolutely committed to doing so, to allow them to gain an understanding of what happened to Leah.”

The property on Loxbeare Drive was less than a mile from the home in Quantock Crescent, Emerson Valley, that Ms Croucher shared with her parents Claire and John.

The 19-year-old would have passed the address as she walked to work at a direct debit collection agency in the city.After she was reported missing on 15 February 2019, the police carried out door-to-door inquiries in the area. They got no reply at the unoccupied home and posted a leaflet through the door.

Following the discovery of the remains, it emerged police had tried to arrest Maxwell 18 times while on the run following an unconnected alleged sexual assault.

In November last year, coroner Mr Osbourne refused to release the inquest records into his death because police feared it could "seriously jeopardise" their investigation.

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