Teenager charged with murder of 18-year-old found dead in woods

Detectives have charged a teenager with the murder of an 18-year-old man found dead in a wooded area.

Police were called after the discovery of a body off Parbold Hill in Parbold, Lancashire, at about 5.25pm on Wednesday.

While formal identification is yet to take place, officers believe the body is that of Alex Davies, from Skelmersdale.

A 17-year-old youth from Chorley who was arrested on Friday has been charged with his murder, Lancashire Police said.

He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Preston Crown Court, on Monday.

Police said Mr Davies had suffered “a number of injuries”, with a post-mortem examination confirming the cause of death as stab wounds and asphyxiation.

He was last seen in Station Road in Parbold, near to the railway bridge, at about 2pm on Monday and reported missing the following day.

Police said his family had been informed and were being supported by officers.

Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Hurst, of Lancashire Police’s major investigation team, said: “My thoughts and the thoughts of every member of the team that have worked on this inquiry are with Alex’s family and friends at this exceptionally tragic and difficult time.

“I am aware of the huge impact this crime has had on the community of Parbold, but I am heartened at the way that same community has pulled together and been so respectful to Alex, his family and to my officers who have been out trying to find the evidence that we need.

“While a youth has been charged, our inquiries will still continue in the Parbold and Chorley areas and I would urge you to continue supporting the investigating officers.”