UK UK - Leah Croucher, 19, Emerson Valley, Milton Keynes, 14 Feb 2019 #4

Discussion in '2010's Missing' started by Steleheart, Feb 19, 2019.

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  1. JuicyLucy

    JuicyLucy Well-Known Member

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    In fact, on reflection, the only logical explanation I can think of is that they did apply for a guardianship order and it was denied. In that event, the bank (rightly) would refuse to help.

    But that would be odd too, I'd have thought (though I'm no expert).

    JMO
     


  2. WiseOwl

    WiseOwl Well-Known Member

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    '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.'

    They did try to cancel the phone contract as well as the other direct debits but the bank refused - question is why did the bank refuse their request?

    Were neither party aware of Claudia's Law?
     
  3. WiseOwl

    WiseOwl Well-Known Member

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    It's about the only thing that makes sense, that for some reason they were turned down for a guardianship order. Even if the Croucher family wasn't aware of it at the time then somewhere along the line somebody surely would of mentioned it to them. Why they would be turned down I've no idea but logically that seems to fit.

    The only other thing I can think of is can a bank refuse a guardianship order on certain grounds? I've no idea what these would be but I can't think of anything else at the moment!
     
  4. HollyHunter9

    HollyHunter9 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if it's because the police believe Leah's disappearance is voluntary and Claudia's has always been presumed foul play? Perhaps the bank needed confirmation from police that the missing person was not coming back and for reasons still unknown the police won't accept that for leah. Even in this recent article, leahs mum states the police believe that the easiest option is that she disappeared off her own accord.
     
  5. Lindsay Lou Who

    Lindsay Lou Who Well-Known Member

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    That was my initial thought and feeling too. Because the Police believe Leah has voluntarily disappeared this could have hindered the Crouch's request with the bank.
    I am so puzzled how the Police still believe this to be the case, surely each passing day with no clothes, no money or contact with friends or family, particularly after her brothers tragic death is more and more suspicious. I wonder what information the police actually have to make them think this?
     
  6. Jenesaisquoi

    Jenesaisquoi Well-Known Member

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    Public Portal

    For online reporting of any info that may help find Leah. I wish some new info would come to light.
     
  7. MsMiniSleuth

    MsMiniSleuth Well-Known Member

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  8. HollyHunter9

    HollyHunter9 Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree. I find the investigation into Leah's disappearance just as baffling as the disappearance itself. The daily mail have also recently done an article on Leah's bank being empty and I've bolded a few of the police statements below and reading between the lines I think the police believe she has committed suicide. (This is not my belief but my speculation based on their comments).

    Leading the investigation for Thames Valley Police, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard said 'we've had no confirmed sightings of Leah' since February 15, 2019.

    Earlier this year, Thames Valley Police revealed there has been 'no significant lead' two years after Leah's disappearance in Milton Keynes - and said that the young woman is potentially 'no longer alive'.

    Detectives described Leah's case as 'bewildering and frustrating', and said they retained an 'open mind' but 'the potential that Leah is no longer alive has to increase'.

    Detective Chief Inspector Howard also said that friends had spoken to police about anxiety issues Leah was having at the time. He suggested it is 'possible that Leah has made a conscious decision and she's acting of her own accord', but refused to 'preclude the role of a third party being involved in Leah's disappearance'.

    Parents of missing Leah Croucher reveal her bank account is empty two years after her disappearance | Daily Mail Online
     
  9. Lindsay Lou Who

    Lindsay Lou Who Well-Known Member

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    It definitely reads that the police are thinking along those lines unfortunately.
    I can only imagine it's very difficult to commit suicide and hide yourself so that you'll never be found again.

    I hope the police checked all the digital devices she had access to throughly, as they could have given away some clue to Leah's mindset in the weeks leading up to her disappearance. I only wish they had her phone as I'm sure it would shed light on where she is and what had been happening in her private life. Someone out there surely must have seen her after the last confirmed sighting.

    I also don't understand why X denied their relationship if he has absolutely nothing to hide. If my friend and work colleague disappeared I would want to do everything to assist the police in finding them.
     
  10. JuicyLucy

    JuicyLucy Well-Known Member

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    Did he though? The police have always said he cooperated with them fully.

    At the time of HC's appearance in court for threatening behaviour, this was the official line:

    A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: "[X] is a witness who has provided a detailed statement regarding his friendship and relationship with Leah. The investigation team have spoken to [X] on a number of occasions since Leah disappeared and he has always made himself available."

    Judge warns missing girl's brother 'stop threatening ex he believes groomed her'

    If I'm honest, I don't really understand the fixation with X. I've read a vast amount of material in relation to this case now and as far as I can see there's no actual evidence of any relationship between them at all, only hearsay about it. I'm happy to be corrected though. Did any of her friends (or his) ever see them together other than in the course of work? Are there any photos of them together? Is there any paper trail that indicates either of them ever gave the other a gift? Or a card? Any love letters? Anything on either of their social media? I'd even accept a doodle in a notebook margin of Leah's name with his surname in a love heart with an arrow through it, as that would at least suggest the narrative in which she was infatuated with him was true, with all the vulnerability that would imply. But afaik, there's nothing.

    Sorry to be controversial. :)
     
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  11. HollyHunter9

    HollyHunter9 Well-Known Member

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    The fixation about X comes from the police not seeming to investigate him enough. IMO there is clearly evidence that she was in some kind of relationship, which doesn't necessarily mean X was involved in her disappearance but the police have very quickly dismissed him and not looked into it further ~ which I think most people find odd and also frustrating, but it is also where my thoughts in my above post come to make me believe the police think leah has committed suicide.

    This news article leahs mum reveals that leah would travel in a taxi to meet X. Then there is the secret meeting in a travel lodge 2 weeks before she went missing...why don't the police look at her phone location at that time and look at X phone location? Perhaps they went for a drink somewhere nearby? Did police try find cctv from anywhere else apart from the travel lodge? The one part for me that sticks out that a possible lover could potentially be related in some way (IMO) is the disappearance the night before she went missing...the date was 14th February...valentine's day!

    Missing Leah Croucher was almost certainly in a secret relationship with an older man before she disappeared, the Citizen can reveal.And her family had warned her off the man, who was engaged or possibly even married at the time.

    For legal reasons, we cannot reveal the man's identity but police have spoken to him and have no suspicions about him. It is understood he has an alibi for the time that Leah vanished.
    Today Leah's mum Claire broke her silence to talk about the relationship with the man, who we will call X.
    "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. It just wasn't like Leah to do things like that - she'd always been such a home-loving person and didn't like going out much."Then we found out he was engaged and it sounded like it was an arranged marriage. I remember saying to Leah: 'Don't you go falling for him, he will never be yours.' I was under the impression that she'd stopped seeing him then."
    Now, in hindsight, Claire and her husband John release Leah could have been deceiving them.On Saturday February 3, twelve days before Leah disappeared, she announced she was going to book a hotel room and have a girlie night with two female friends, drinking alcohol and gossiping.
    "To be honest, I didn't think anything of it. I was pleased she was getting out and it seemed quite a normal thing for young people to do. I know her brother has done the same when he goes for a night out," said Claire.
    Leah's dad dropped her at the Jury's Inn at Central Milton Keynes and waved goodbye as she walked off.
    It was only much later, when her bank statement arrived some time after Leah's disappearance, that the Crouchers realised their daughter had lied to them."Her statement showed she had booked a room at the cheaper hotel nearby - the Travelodge," said Claire. "We checked with her friends, of course, and they said they hadn't been with her that night.
    "We believe she was with X, but did not want to tell us."
    Frustratingly, CCTV of the Travelodge had been wiped out by the time the lie was discovered, so there is no record of the assignation.
    Then there was the mysterious outing on Valentine's night, the night before Leah vanished. She left home between 6pm and 7.15pm, telling her mum she was seeing a friend. But checks showed she never saw that friend and police, despite numerous appeals, have never established where she went or why she was with.

    Leah Croucher was having secret romance with 'married' man in Milton Keynes before she vanished, say parents


     
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  12. JuicyLucy

    JuicyLucy Well-Known Member

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    I know all of this, but I don't understand why people feel the police didn't investigate him enough when the police insist they did. Unless people feel the police investigation was incompetent or corrupt? But again, what's the evidence for that? We know that they dismissed him, but we really don't know that they dismissed him 'quickly', because the first we heard anything about X was when HC was being prosecuted for threatening behaviour. Given that that harrassment had been going on for some time, it also stands to reason that X's name had come up in the investigation somewhat earlier than we knew about him. It's as if the police clarifying that X had already been ruled out by the time of the hearing against HC has translated in people's minds into the investigation of X being brief and superficial because we hadn't been hearing about it blow-by-blow over the months, but we really don't know that at all - far from it, if you believe the quote I cited above, that they had spoken to him in detail and on multiple occasions.

    As for the assumption that Leah was seeing someone, I have no difficulty believing that, but again, there's no evidence for it. It's all only reported speech - coming from the same source that said originally everything was fine, and that Leah was happy and had no problems.

    So while I agree it's perfectly possible Leah was in a relationship, and acknowledge that that relationship might have been with X, I also think it's perfectly possible she wasn't, or that it was with someone else. And whether it was with him or not, I think we're no closer to knowing whether her disappearance was because she eloped with someone, or whether she was abducted and murdered because she trusted the wrong person, or whether it was all going wrong and she ended her own life - or something else entirely. Not based on the evidence, we don't.

    It just frustrates me, because I feel that people are so attached to the narrative in which her relationship with X led to her coming to harm, even though there's no particular evidence for it and the police say they've investigated and ruled him out, that it seems to crowd out any other possibilities.

    It's just my opinion though. I don't know anything we don't all know.
     
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  13. HollyHunter9

    HollyHunter9 Well-Known Member

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    The problem with leahs case is there are a lot of conflicting statements out in MSM. The police say one thing and the family say another. This interview with Leah's dad contradicts the statements made by police and so gives the impression mr X was not looked into as thoroughly as other possibilities. None of us know for certain what is true and what isn't but statistically if a young girl/woman disappears and later it's revealed she had a secret married lover then there is strong possibility that the lover is involved in the disappearance and so people naturally gravitate towards the possibility of foul play in Leahs case (IMO). I'm not saying that's whats happened or that you are wrong but just trying to explain why the theory of Mr X comes up time and time again.
    Today Leah's dad John said: "Mr X is the only anomaly that was in Leah's life. The only thing she lied about. We feel information he may have is our only chance of finding her.
    "We kept quiet because the police strongly advised us it was the right thing to do. They asked us to trust them. We have to finally and publicly admit we think they are wrong."John says he and his wife Clare have provided police with "evidence" early on to prove 19-year-old Leah and Mr X were more than just good friends.
    He said: "We worry that the police did not look more closely at him, his family, his friends. They didn't search cars or homes or workplaces. They searched the area he lives in, but that was all. He will not give permission to look at messages between the both of you. He destroyed those messages.John revealed he asked police to check for DNA on the clothes Mr X wore on Valentine's Day 2019, the day before Leah disappeared. This was the evening she fibbed to her parents and slipped out of the house, seemingly for a mystery assignation.
    "The police will not check the clothes he wore Valentine's Day," said John. "They 'encourage' us to protect his anonymity."
    He claims Mr X has lied about the relationship from the offset.

    'We think police got it wrong' say parents of missing Milton Keynes woman Leah Croucher
     
  14. WiseOwl

    WiseOwl Well-Known Member

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    The reason why there is no evidence of a relationship between X and Leah is pretty simple:

    X was getting married later on in 2019 and wanted to keep this relationship as quiet as he possibly could.

    Hence no photo's, cards or love letters. It seemed he managed to persuade Leah to keep their relationship a secret, even to the point that she was the one getting taxi's to see him rather than the other way round.

    The police said that Leah was having some anxiety issues at work before she disappeared, and I believe this is because X had ended their relationship - probably because of his impending marriage. Maybe Leah had found this out, not only had someone that she may well have fallen in love with dumped her but also he was getting married later that year - this could have been all too much for Leah.

    IMO the split was the catalyst for Leah's disappearance on the Friday morning. Voluntary disappearance? suicide? abducted? All these options (and others) are still on the table.
     
  15. JuicyLucy

    JuicyLucy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you completely that the disparity between what the family allege and what the police say is a huge problem.

    And I agree that if she was having a secret affair with a married lover, the index of suspicion would be high and you would want the police to investigate that person thoroughly. But I disagree that any evidence of that affair has ever been revealed - indeed it would be very helpful if anyone with any evidence would reveal it. And yet, more than two years on, nobody has, as far as we know. Leah's family have the ear of both the police and the media, and also regularly communicate directly via social media. If they had any actual evidence, as opposed to hearsay and hypothesis, I'm confident we would have heard about it by now. Notwithstanding, the police have investigated and have ruled that person out.

    I also don't really buy the idea that the affair, if it ever existed, puts X in the frame for anything criminal. If the hypothesis is that he murdered her, or had her murdered, because she was pregnant (which I've read on here), then I think there are far lower stakes ways for him to have dealt with that.

    It's possible though. Virtually everything in this case is possible, which is why it's so interesting and simultaneously so frustrating. :)

    But it's also possible that there's no evidence because it isn't true.

    I agree that in photos she often looks anxious.

    For me, the turning off of her geolocation on her phone the night before speaks to a planned disappearance, and I think that the weekend a couple of weeks prior, when she lied about where she was, was when she initially planned to disappear but that she got cold feet.

    I think lots of other things! But I can't evidence any of my opinions either. So we are all just hypothesising. :)

    JMO
     
  16. HollyHunter9

    HollyHunter9 Well-Known Member

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    This I 100% agree with...whether it was voluntary or abduction I do believe there was some kind of relationship that was causing problems not only for leah but for her family too...why else would her brother be in court for harassment of Mr X if there was no relationship? She was sneaking around and lying to her parents...would you behave like that if your 'boyfriend' was your own age and unattached? You would though, hide evidence of a relationship if you knew your family disapproved of it. The catalyst happened the night before IMO...it's no coincidence all this happened around valentine's day.

    Very frustrating indeed! We will have to agree to disagree until any further evidence surfaces.
     
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  17. JuicyLucy

    JuicyLucy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that works. I know I'm the one who's out of sync with the thread on this. :)
     
  18. Lindsay Lou Who

    Lindsay Lou Who Well-Known Member

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    Not controversial at all.
    I think Holly has responded excellently. Although I would like to add I doubt there would be photos, cards or gifts as X was due to marry so he had alot more to lose should any relationship (if there was one with Leah) come to light. My feeling is if there was a relationship she was probably just a bit of secretive fun to him, but being young and inexperienced she had deeper feelings for him. Also considering their cultural differences, I wonder how his family would react if he was in any sort of relationship with Leah.
    She must have told her family about X for them to know about him, combine that with her out of character behaviour and a secret trip to a hotel and a sneaky valentines meet up right before she went missing, to me this does make her disappearance appear suspicious.
    I know we all want to believe the police would never make a mistake or overlook evidence but unfortunately it does occasionally happen.
    It appears that X and Leah have two completely different thoughts on any friendship or relationship they had but only one person is here to give their version.
    I am heartbroken for her family and can only imagine how desperate they must feel.
     
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  19. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Although Mr X seems to be the cause of LC's (assumed) discomfort, it would not surprise me if LC had an interest in and from, others.

    Nineteen years old and awakened to the first fluttering of love, LC, an accomplished athlete is not going to give up that easily, if Mr X won't or can't love her, then she will either find someone who will, or to try and make him jealous over someone else.
    complete speculation, imo.
     
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  20. JuicyLucy

    JuicyLucy Well-Known Member

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    It's not at all that I think the police are above errors, just that there's this constant narrative that the police never investigated X, which seems to have come originally from HC, to the extent that it landed him in court, and which, as far as I can see, doesn't really bear scrutiny. The police have said repeatedly that they talked to him multiple times and that he cooperated fully.

    Likewise, people say again and again that the police didn't do enough searches or look at enough CCTV, but - unless you think they're outright lying about what was done - the facts just don't agree. The police actually looked at over 1200 hours of CCTV (according to the link below - I've seen 1500 quoted previously). That's one officer doing nothing but reviewing CCTV images every working hour of every working day for eight months (not that that's probably how it was done). They knocked up 4000 households and did 400 full-scale searches, including using specialist search teams. That's not nothing. That's a lot of work and a lot of budget. Would they really spend all that time and money searching for her - but then not bother investigating the one person her family insisted knew more about her disappearance than anyone? I don't think so. It doesn't make sense.

    Leah Croucher: 'No lead' in 'bewildering' 2019 disappearance

    I do agree with you that it seems Leah was being secretive about something. If I were a betting person, my guess would be on a concealed pregnancy. It's been said that she became moody and secretive around the autumn of 2018, and that she didn't maintain her TKD training schedule over that winter, supposedly because of a foot injury, although she walked to work and back every day. By February 2019, she would have been approaching 20 weeks. As a fit young woman in her first pregnancy, she still wouldn't really be showing by then, but it wouldn't be long, particularly with a family holiday imminent. She is always described as petite, fit and slim, but the photos from around the time of her disappearance show that actually she was carrying some extra weight and her face looks quite puffy. So my guess - and it's only a guess - is that her disappearance was connected to a decision precipitated by a pregnancy she finally had to face up to after months of hiding it. Whether we'd then be talking about a voluntary disappearance or a self-harm scenario, I am less sure, but I tend to think she would have been found by now if she had killed herself.

    I'm going to add some pictures just to show the contrast in her appearance:

    Leah and Haydon.jpg Leah CCTV2.jpg Leah.jpg

    JMO and pure speculation.

    (ETA: Pic copyright the Croucher family, except the CCTV which is TVP.)
     
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