Leah Croucher mystery deepens: Police make fresh appeal for witnesses who saw sole suspect

Leah Croucher mystery deepens: Police make fresh appeal for witnesses who saw only suspect near house where missing 19-year-old was later found dead

  • Police published a computer image of the suspect in the Leah Croucher case
  • Leah’s body was discovered in October, three years after she disappeared 

Police have launched a fresh appeal for witnesses in their investigation into the death of teenager Leah Croucher, whose body was discovered three and a half years after she went missing.

Officers have released a computer-generated image of the man they suspect, showing what he might have looked like when she vanished in Milton Keynes in February 2019.

The suspect, Neil Maxwell, is the only person being investigated in connection with Leah’s murder, but police have not been able to place him in the area at the time. 

Maxwell took his own life in April 2019, two months after Leah’s disappearance. 

Police have released this computer-generated image of what suspect Neil Maxwell may have looked like at the time of Leah Croucher's disappearance

Police have released this computer-generated image of what suspect Neil Maxwell may have looked like at the time of Leah Croucher’s disappearance 

Officers earlier published this last-known photo of Maxwell, but believe he changed his appearance to avoid being captured

Officers earlier published this last-known photo of Maxwell, but believe he changed his appearance to avoid being captured

Leah’s remains were found in the loft of a house in Milton Keynes in October, but a post-mortem was unable to establish the cause of her death.

Thames Valley Police said they have made more than 2,000 searches and examinations since the discovery, and have interviewed hundreds of witnesses to solve the 19 year-old’s disappearance.

A photo of Maxwell was published last year as police appealed for witnesses, but officers have said he may have changed his appearance to avoid detection as he was wanted in connection with a sexual assault investigation in Newport Pagnell in 2018.

A computer-generated image of what he may have looked like in February 2019 when Leah disappeared has been published.

Police say he had grown a beard and may have lost weight. He is also though to have stopped using mobile phones and his cars to avoid being captured. 

Thames Valley Police called for anyone who has any further information or may have seen Maxwell in Milton Keynes around the time that Leah disappeared to come forward.

Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Hunter said: ‘I can confirm that Neil Maxwell remains the only nominated suspect at this point of the investigation, and our investigation continues to diligently gather sufficient evidence to establish the truth.

Leah Croucher, 19, disappeared in Milton Keynes in February 2019. Her body was discovered at a house there in October 2022

Leah Croucher, 19, disappeared in Milton Keynes in February 2019. Her body was discovered at a house there in October 2022

Police have appealed for anyone with information relating to Leah's disappearance to come forward

Police have appealed for anyone with information relating to Leah’s disappearance to come forward

‘Maxwell knew he was wanted in connection with a sexual assault investigation that occurred in Newport Pagnell in November 2018 and appears to have made extensive efforts to evade arrest by using false names, and we believe he stopped using his mobile phone and his vehicles. 

‘He is likely to have known that he would be returning to prison if he was arrested and convicted.

‘The investigation has now also established that Maxwell is likely to have changed his appearance to avoid being recognised. 

‘He had grown a beard and may have lost weight. We have therefore generated a computer image of how Maxwell may have looked around the time Leah went missing in the hope that it may jog someone’s memory. 

‘Did you see this person in or around Loxbeare Drive, Furzton at any time between December 2018 and 20 April 2019?

‘Or can you help us with obtaining further information about Neil Maxwell. 

‘Do you know where he was between December 2018 and 20 April 2019, what phone number he was using, what vehicle he was driving, who he was with or any other useful information that can help us establish the truth for Leah’s family? You can of course also speak to us in confidence.’

Anyone with information can call police on 101, quoting ‘Operation Innsbruck’ or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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