All Leah Croucher's money has gone from her bank account, her devastated family reveals

After two years and five months, the account is now empty

Monday, 19th July 2021, 9:59 am
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 10:00 am

Money carefully saved by Leah Croucher has all been swallowed up by direct debits to pay her bills during the time she has been missing, her family has revealed.

Leah, who will be 22 next month, mysteriously disappeared while walking to work in Milton Keynes in February 2019, the day after Valentine's Day.

What could be the biggest clue - her mobile phone - suddenly left the network at 8.34am that morning and it has never been seen since.

Leah Croucher

Her parents, John and Claire, are convinced their daughter did not vanish voluntarily but still cling on to the hope that one day she will contact them.

But their request to the bank to freeze Leah's direct debits. including her monthly phone contract payments, from her account was refused - and now all her money has gone.

"This means the bill we were trying to protect is no longer being paid. Leah's phone bill. There is now no way that any of us can contact her," said Claire.

"All we know is that her bank wouldn't help us to stop her direct debits and now all her money has gone. Paying bills that didn't need to be paid."

Leah's mum Claire Croucher

Claire described her family's life since her daughter's disappearance as "torturous", waiting in vain for a positive sighting of Leah or any clues about what has happened to her.

"Two years and five months ago today we were a happy, normal family. Life was good. Then at 6pm I got a phone call from John asking if I had heard from Leah. She had not shown up at work and she was not at home. I knew then there was something wrong Leah always let me know if she was off ill.

"That was when our world fell apart. Leah was missing...She still is. Two and a half years on.

It's been a long, torturous two and a half years. Filled with fear, anguish and misery. We still have more questions than answers. We still don't know if Leah is safe or not.

There is now a £20,000 reward

"All we do know is that despite the police knocking on over 4000 doors and searching hundreds of hours of CCTV, no-one saw Leah after Buzzacott Lane (the last CCTV sighting of Leah walking through Furzton).

"All we do know is that after searching waterways, woods and abandoned buildings including farmland Leah wasn't there. All we know is that every sighting investigated yields no results. Two and a half years on we are being forced to still live this nightmare."

Claire, who lives with John on Emerson Valley, said: "People are still talking about her. Still looking for her. Still calling the police with sightings. Thank you for not giving up on our little girl. People are still sharing her poster here on Facebook. People are still knocking on our door with cards, wishing us well, letting us know they care they have not forgotten. Family and friends are still upset and worried, missing Leah, hoping she is safe, somewhere.

"Me and John are still trying to make ourselves believe Leah could have run away, leaving us, family, friends and everything she owned behind. Not caring about the pain and hurt she was about to inflict on everyone who ever met her. Still not caring now.

The clothes Leah was wearing on the day she vanished

"It's easy for the police to believe this is the most likely option. It's the most common option, that's for sure.

"But anyone who ever met Leah knows. They know that is NOT an option. Leah could not, would not do something like this intentionally. There was no reason to run away. We were meant to be going on holiday together two weeks later. A holiday Leah helped to pick and pay for."

Claire concluded: "We miss you Leah. We love you Leah. We want you home Leah."

She has urged people to share social media posts about Leah in the hope that someone, somewhere, will recognise her photo.

"Please share this post.. We appreciate every single share. Someone out there knows what happened to our beautiful little girl." she said.

Police say there has been no significant lead about Leah's disappearance and describe the case as "bewildering and frustrating".

They have carried out 400 separate searches in rivers, woodlands and secluded spots across Milton Keynes. reviewed 1,200 hours of CCTV from the morning she vanished and investigated 600 reports of information and potential sightings from the public.

"Somebody must have seen her that day, yet despite all of our efforts nobody's come forward to give us that confirmed sighting," said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard, head of the investigation for Thames Valley Police, on the second anniversary of her disappearance.

Anyone with any information at all can contact police on 101 quoting reference 43190049929 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

There is a £20,000 reward for information leading to Leah's return.