Was it Leah Croucher who was spotted "angry and upset" on her phone on the day she vanished in Milton Keynes?

A girl that may have been Leah Croucher was seen "visibly angry, upset and crying" by Furzton Lake on the morning she disappeared, police have today revealed.

Monday, 15th April 2019, 12:13 pm
Updated Monday, 15th April 2019, 9:12 pm
Leah Croucher has been missing for two months

Three witnesses have come forward to say they saw a female answering Leah's description between 9.30am and 11.15am on Friday February 15.

The first witness, was walking alone along the wooden boardwalk on the eastern side of the lake when she saw a female between 9.30am and 10am.

The witness described her as white, aged approximately 20, around 5ft 4ins tall, with dark brown, shoulder length hair. She was dressed in a black mid-thigh length coat, with the front zip undone, dark trousers and what appeared to be white earbuds in both ears.

Leah Croucher has been missing for two months

The witness described the female as using her phone, and typing using both thumbs. She said ‘Excuse me' as she walked past, , to which the girl replied ‘Oh sorry’.

The other two witnesses, who were walking anti-clockwise around Furzton Lake together, saw the girl between 10am and 10.15am near the sports pavilion, and described her as being visibly angry, upset and crying.

They then saw her again around 20 minutes later just after passing the Premier Inn, and described her to be in a calmer state. They also believe she may have been speaking to somebody on her mobile phone.

Leah, 19, set out that morning at 8.15am for her normal two mile walk from her Emerson Valley home to her workplace in Knowhill. She never arrived at work and her family reported her missing that evening.

Since then, over the past 62 days, there has been no use of her mobile phone and no money withdrawn from her account.

The family have today issued an emotional pleas for Leah to get in touch if she is still alive.

They said: “Leah, if by some miracle you have run away of your own accord and are surviving out there somehow with no friends, money, clothes or phone and you can see, hear or read this – please come home. We love you. We miss you. We want you home.”

They added: " “It has now been 62 long and heart-breaking days since our beautiful, wonderful daughter Leah vanished into thin air. When Leah was first reported missing we honestly believed that she would be home very soon. But that hasn’t happened and as each subsequent day begins we are filled with despair that another night has come and gone and we have received no phone call or visit meaning that Leah is still missing.

“People ask us how we carry on and the truthful answer to that question is we just don’t know. We have no choice. Getting up is the hardest thing to do each day. But the hope that the day will bring us our daughter is what spurs us on.

“It broke our heart to hear that no members of our family were celebrating Mother’s Day as a show of support to us.

“As a family we are suffering as a whole; as individuals we are full of despair. It takes us all our efforts not to go through the streets screaming her name and banging on people’s doors demanding to be let in so we can search and make sure she is not there.

“How does a person in this day and age just vanish without a trace?

They are urging people to rack their brains and try to remembner if they saw anything that could help police.

"One further piece of information, especially when taken against what the police have already established, may be all it takes to find Leah," they said.

Chief Inspector Neil Kentish, Deputy Local Policing Area Commander for Milton Keynes, said: “We are very eager to establish the identity of the person who was described to us by the three witnesses.

“Even if this person was not Leah, we would still like to speak to them so that we can eliminate the sightings from our enquiries.

“If you believe that you are this person, or you know who it was, please contact us as it will greatly assist with our investigation.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind people of Leah’s appearance; she is white, slim, with below shoulder length brown hair and sometimes wears glasses.

“Leah was last seen dressed in a black coat, skinny black jeans, black Converse high top shoes and carrying a small black rucksack. We have previously released images of clothes that are similar to the ones she was wearing when she went missing. I would particularly remind people of the grey hooded top with the colourful ‘Stewartby Taekwondo’ logo that Leah was wearing underneath her jacket.

“I still believe that someone, somewhere, has a vital piece of information which will help us to find Leah. If you have, and for whatever reason you haven’t already come forward, I would urge you to think of Leah’s family and contact the police.

“Our ongoing investigation has been extensive; we have brought in resources and expertise from across the force and external organisations, including the Major Crime unit, family liaison officers, specialist search teams, the Mounted Section, police dogs, marine specialists, and the National Police Air Service.

“Our searches have been extensive across Milton Keynes in Emerson Valley, Furzton, Shenley Lodge, Knowlhill and Bradville, however we have found no trace of Leah.

“We have also visited more than 4,000 homes, spoken to 100 potential witnesses, and received more than 200 reports of potential sightings of Leah across the country. All of these reports have been investigated but as yet none have resulted in a confirmed sighting of Leah."

If you have any information visit the dedicated website for this investigation, which is https://mipp.police.uk/operation/43H218A55-PO1/ call 101, or visit a police station, quoting reference number 43190049929.