The father of missing Leah Croucher has issued a grim warning to the person who took his daughter, telling them: “The police are closing in on you.”
Today, 11 calendar months after Leah vanished without trace, John Croucher has urged the unknown person to “look out”.
And he revealed how watching this week's 'Catching a Killer' Channel 4 documentary has reinforced his faith that local police will catch Leah's captor or, in the worst case scenario, her killer.
“We believe that they will catch whoever took Leah. Look out whoever you are. The police are closing in on you. Your time of freedom is limited,” he said.
John revealed how the Channel 4 documentary, which described the complex police investigation into Milton Keynes murderer Ben Field, was the first true life crime programme he and his wife have watched since Leah disappeared.”
“We are living it nowadays so there has been no desire to watch programmes like that. This one was about a killer in MK. He was a terrible man.
“Everyone says "things like that don't happen in our town" - this did. It happened in our town.”
John added: It was strange to watch a programme like that and know half the cast. It is the same team who are looking for our beautiful, wonderful Leah. They caught Ben the trainee vicar...They will catch whoever took Leah.”
But tragically, the family's hopes of finding 20-year-old Leah alive are continuing to fade as time ticks by.
This week her older sister Jade admitted: “I know in my heart that something bad has happened. Leah is a shy girl who spent the majority of her time at home. She would not cope for this long with no money, phone or contact with friends or family. “
John said: “Leah's posters have faded as quickly as our hope of her walking back through the front door.”
The family has been surrounded by support, often from strangers, particularly after a second tragedy struck two months ago when John's 24-year-old son Haydon took his own life. He had been suffering mental torment over not knowing what had happened to his sister.
John said: “Reading comments from total strangers of hope, love and well wishers always upsets us. There is so much hope for us out there from you all. Words of comfort. Of support. There was one comment that made my wife cry so hard. It said " you never get used to the enormous void left after losing a child. But in time you become accustomed to the space of them no longer being there" Beautifully put. But a horrendous reality to face. We have that twice for us.”
He added: “Life is empty. Life seems to stretch ahead of us in the most meaningless way. Nightmares and depression are driving us mad. The thought of her first anniversary next month depresses the hell out of us. Scares us too. We can't even hide from it. Valentine's is everywhere in the shops already, it feels like.
“Help us find Leah - please. Please. Please. That person who knows must have said something to someone. Claim your reward. The money is still available to you. End our pain. Let Leah come home.”
The Citizen is today re-publishing our timeline into Leah's disappearance. We are urging people to read it carefully and try to remember anything that might help solve this heartbreaking mystery.
If you know anything at all about Leah, please contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers free and anonymously on 0800 555 111.