THE heartbroken mum of missing teenager Leah Croucher broke down in tears as she told how she fears her daughter may have been murdered.
Leah, 19, was last seen by her parents on Valentine’s Day in Milton Keynes before she vanished the following morning.
Leah Croucher was last seen on Valentine’s Day in Milton Keynes[/caption]
Claire and John Croucher, pictured, do not believe Leah vanished deliberately[/caption]
CCTV captured the finance clerk walking to work on the morning of her disappearance, but she failed to show up.
In a tearful interview on This Morning, Leah’s parents Claire and John said they do not believe she vanished deliberately and think she may have been murdered.
Claire said: “If the worst has happened, I would like my daughter’s body back so her family can have a burial and we can say goodbye – because everybody deserves that.
“There is no way she has run away. Someone has taken her, something bad has happened… there are some people out there in the world who know where she is and what has happened to her.”
CCTV captured the finance clerk walking to work on the morning of her disappearance[/caption]
John added: “Truthfully, I do not believe she has run away. She has got a fair amount of money in the bank and that has not been touched. If you are running away, surely you would take something?”
Leah was last captured on CCTV walking to work on February 15.
She was walking in the direction of Loxbeare Drive and Chaffron Way, police said.
The night before she had returned home from work and changed into jogging bottoms.
She told her parents she was popping out to see a friend for a “catch up”, but she never turned up at her friend’s house.
The family described how Leah came across as younger than she was and disliked partying with her friends, preferring to stay at home and read her Harry Potter and Twilight vampire books.
If the worst has happened, I would like my daughter’s body back so her family can have a burial and we can say goodbye – because everybody deserves thatClaire Croucher
Her mum also spoke publicly for the first time about her daughter’s relationship with an older man – a 27-year-old who Leah’s protective brother Haydon has accused of “grooming” her.
Claire said: “We were not aware of a relationship before she went missing. We’ve found out since that she was seeing somebody but that person has been spoken to.”
Leah was last seen by her parents at the family home[/caption]
Leah came across as younger than she was and disliked partying with her friends, her family explained[/caption]
Police have previously confirmed there was no reason to suspect the man.
But Detective Sergeant Andy Howard, who’s head of the police investigation, told This Morning: ”
“There were in Leah’s life some anxieties and some things that were concerning her, worrying her. Whether these anxieties were any different from what many teenagers go through at that stage, is difficult to say.”
Speaking on This Morning, investigative journalist and former police officer Mark Williams-Thomas said Leah’s case was “very unusual”.
He visited Leah’s family home in Emerson Valley, Milton Keynes, and spoke to Detective Sergeant Howard.
Mark said: “The police have been baffled. People do not just vanish. I am going to try and piece together what has happened to Leah.”