Police refuse offer of £10,000 reward to find missing Leah Croucher from Milton Keynes
A city businessman says his offer of a £10,000 reward to find Leah Croucher has been ignored by police for the past four days.
The IT company director, who is a father himself, believes the existing £5,000 reward is not enough to flush out information if somebody is holding Leah against her will.
"I'm prepared to up the reward to £15,000 immediately. That is more of an incentive for somebody to talk," he said.
The man, who has two daughters himself, also wants to appeal to other companies in MK to follow his lead.
"If everybody pledged £1,000 we could soon gather a massive reward. Somebody out there knows what happened to Leah and other people may be protecting him or her. Tens of thousands of pounds would persuade them to talk and end the anguish that Leah's family is going through," he said.
The man called the Citizen on Thursday afternoon to see if we had a direct number for the police team dealing with Leah's disappearance.
We called the Thames Valley Police press office - but they advised the man to call 101, quoting the reference number for the Leah case.
"they asked for a collar number, or department title - which I do not have. There was no facility to put in a reference number.
"When you pressed the option to talk to a receptionist it just keeps you on hold for ages. It's a real worry because if anyone did have information about Leah then this could easily put them off."
Eventually the businessman gave up and asked the Citizen to intervene.
We asked the press office to give a message to the Leah team so they could call directly about the £10,000 offer.
Today, four days on, the man is still awaiting a call.
"It's frustrating," he said. "If I knew where Leah's family lived I'd approach them myself. all I'm trying to do is help."
Leah Croucher, 19, has been missing since Friday February 15, when she seemingly vanished off the face off the earth while walking to work.
Despite exhaustive police searches and appeals, there has been no confirmed sighting of her since.
Press officer James Williams later said: “I take responsibility as I stated I would pass the information on to the investigative team but I didn’t.”
This afternoon the businesman was finally contacted by a member of the Leah investigation team.
“They were very polite but they refused my offer. They said they didn’t think a bigger reward would make any difference,” he told the Citizen.