Leah Croucher (19) was last seen by her parents at their family home in Quantock Crescent at 22:00 GMT on the14th of February 2019. She would last been seen on CCTV on the 25th February at 08:16, and was reported missing that evening.
Afternoon - Leah's location settings are disabled on her phone as she walks home from work.
17:45 - Leah goes out (telling her parents she's meeting a friend).
19:15 - Leah returns home.
22:00 - Leah is last seen by her parents.
08:16 - Leah is seen on CCTV in Furzton walking in the direction of her work.
08:20 - A woman believed to be Ms Croucher is seen in Furzton near an area known locally as Teletubby Hill.
08:34 - Leah's phone leaves the mobile network.
Leah does not show up for work, and she's reported missing that evening.
So far in the investigation Police have visited 4,000 properties in house-to-house inquiries, reviewed 1,200 hours of CCTV, conducted 400 searches across Milton Keynes, and investigated 600 reports of potential sightings from the public.
In April 2019, 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 witnesses said they saw a female who was visibly angry, upset, and crying.
Police discovered that Leah had not in fact met her friend the night before she went missing, and they are unaware of her location during that time.
Chief Inspector Neil Kentish said: “It is totally out of character for Leah to go missing. She hasn’t spoken to any family or friends, she hasn’t used her bank cards and hasn’t been on social media during this time."
What is Leah Croucher Like?
The below is taken from a statement released by Leah's family:
"She loves watching DVD box sets in her room. She doesn’t really like pubs or clubbing much and generally comes home by 1am at the latest if she does go. She is a family orientated person and is caring about her family and friends. She is kind and generous and always helps people any way she can. She loves taekwondo and attends classes with her dad."
“We are going on a family holiday which Leah was really looking to. She had helped us pick out the hotel at the airport the night before. She has an excellent sense of humour and her cheeky side can shine through. She mainly chooses to communicate with her friends through s ocial media or texting. She is a creature of habit who likes their home comforts."
In June 2019 Leah's brother Haydon Croucher, 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. Tragically, in November 2019, nine months after Leah was last seen, Hayden took his own life.
Intimate Partner Violence
One theory is that Leah was a victim of intimate partner violence, being murdered to buy her silence / or in a fit of rage.
Leah's parents have alleged that Leah was having an affair with an older, engaged man, who cannot be named for legal reasons. Claire Croucher said; "It started in the summer of last year. She was talking about this man all the time. It was X this and X that... it was obvious she had a soft spot for him. She'd go and see him in the evenings, paying £13 each way for a taxi." John Croucher also said; "We kept quiet because the police strongly advised us it was the right thing to do. They asked us to trust them."
Leah's parents also claim that she had stayed at a Travel Lodge with the man, 12 days before she disappeared.
We know that Leah went somewhere between 19:15 and 20:00 on the 14th of February, which happened to be Valentine's day. Her location settings had been turned off at this time, and her time is not accounted for.
The following morning reported sightings to suggest Leah had been by Furzon lake upset and angry, before being seen later on the phone to someone. Could it be possible she was arguing with the boyfriend - threatening to reveal their relationship?
If this man did murder Leah to keep her quiet, he would likely have disposed of her body relatively locally - not being able to raise suspicion with his fiance.
Unfortunately, there are large amounts of woodlands in the area, meaning her body could be out there unfound. One particular woodland "Aspley Heath" in only an 18-minute drive from Furzon Lake.
On the 20th of July 2021, Leah's parents revealed that her account had been drained because their request to cancel a direct debit had been declined. Leah had a direct debit set up to pay for her phone, and because it had not been canceled, she had no money left.
In the same Daily Mail article, Detective Chief Inspector Howard said that friends had spoken to police about anxiety issues Leah was having at the time she disappeared.
On the 14th of September 2021, a woman in her 60s revealed that one the day Leah had gone missing she had seen a man in a black car pushing a woman down in the front seat. She said; "Suddenly a right foot appeared on the dashboard, followed by a left foot....I guessed they belonged to a female because of the size," she told the MK Citizen.
"I was stationary and the car was at a junction to the side of me, waiting to pull out, so I had quite a good view." As the witness watched, events took a turn so strange that she almost stopped her car and ran out to check if the unseen passenger was okay.
She remembers the time clearly - it was between 8.35am and 8.40am. Leah's phone left the network inexplicably at 8.34am - in the area of Furzton Lake. The witness said: "As I watched the car, the driver suddenly let go of the steering wheel with both hands, twisted himself round, and pushed whoever the feet belonged to down really forcefully. He was using both hands and it seemed a very aggressive thing to do.
"It was like he was trying to hide someone... I remember being concerned enough that I tried to get the number plate, but I was at the wrong angle to see it. I hoped the cars in front of me would move forward enough so I could allow the driver to pull out in front of me and I'd get a better view. At one point I even contemplated getting out of my car, running down the road, and asking him what on earth he was doing."
The witness claims that despite twice getting in contact with the police she has not been contacted to give a statement.