Body found in search for missing 16-year-old girl

Police have found a body in the search for a 16-year-old girl who has been missing since VE Day.

The discovery was made in woodland in Havant, Hampshire, on Thursday by officers searching for Louise Smith who was last seen on May 8.

A Hampshire police spokesman said the death was being treated as suspicious.

A man and a woman, both aged 29, were arrested on May 15 on suspicion of kidnap and were later released on bail.

Officers along with search and rescue teams have been scouring country parks and woodland for the teenager.

Louise missing
Louise missing

A force spokesman said that formal identification had not yet taken place but Louise’s family had been informed and were being supported by specialist officers.

Detective Chief Superintendent Scott Mackechnie said: “Today officers located a body in an area of woodland in Havant Thicket.

“We know that news of this discovery will be very upsetting for the community, so I want to reassure you that we will be working around the clock to establish what has happened.

“We will endeavour to provide you with further updates as soon as we can, but in the meantime we’re asking the community not to speculate on the circumstances, and instead provide all information to the police in the first instance, as this is crucial to helping our enquiries.

“Thank you to everyone in the community who has offered their support so far and has assisted us with this investigation.”

Earlier police asked for local residents to save any dashcam and CCTV footage from May 7 and 8 to help with the investigation.

A CCTV image was released of Louise shopping at a Tesco store in Greywell Road on the evening of May 7.