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Fresh appeal for help from the family of missing Leah Croucher

A family destroyed: Leah’s parents John and Claire Croucher with their daughter Jade PICTURE: PA.

THE parents of a teenager who went missing on her way to work have appealed for information ahead of the first anniversary of her disappearance.

Leah Croucher, then 19, was last seen at 8.15am on February 15 last year in the Furzton area of Milton Keynes before she ‘effectively vanished into thin air’.

Her parents Claire and John Croucher fear someone may have taken her and question why she would ‘just disappear’.

Happier days: Leah (right) with her father and siblings

Mrs Croucher said: ‘Every day I feel like I’ve given up hope, and it’s a big struggle to get that hope back.

‘It’s more and more difficult because, if someone took Leah, for example, she’s suffering for 365 days and no one wants that for their child.’

Their heartbreak was compounded when Leah’s brother Haydon, 24, died in hospital on November 16 following an apparent suicide attempt.

Double tragedy: Leah and Haydon

Mrs Croucher said, if someone did snatch Leah, ‘they’ve destroyed our entire family’. She added: ‘I don’t think they will ever come forward. We hold them responsible for Haydon’s death as well. He couldn’t cope, he found it very difficult.’ Det Ch Insp Andy Howard said he had no evidence Leah was taken but could not rule it out. He added it was ‘concerning and unusual’ that she went missing on her familiar morning walk.

Thames Valley Police want to identify a woman seen near Furzton Lake on the day of the disappearance. Witnesses report seeing a woman similar to Leah ‘angry, upset and crying’. The force, whose officers have visited 4,000 homes, has doubled a reward for information on Leah’s whereabouts to £10,000.