Woman rearrested in murder probe after teenager found dead in woodland

A woman has been rearrested on suspicion of murdering 16-year-old Louise Smith, who was found dead in woodland after disappearing on VE Day.

The teenager was last seen alive in Somborne Drive in the Leigh Park area of Havant, Hampshire, at midday on May 8.

Her body was found at nearby Havant Thicket on May 21.

Louise Smith missing
Flowers left outside Havant Thicket in Hampshire (Ben Mitchell/PA)

A 29-year-old woman, who was initially arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, was rearrested on Friday on suspicion of murder.

She has been bailed until July 31 while inquiries continue, Hampshire Police said.

Officers have charged Shane Lee Mays, 29, of Somborne Drive, Havant, on suspicion of murder.

His trial, expected to last about four weeks, is due to start at Winchester Crown Court on November 10, with a preliminary hearing on October 2.

Louise’s family previously described the teenager as “a typical 16-year-old girl, who enjoyed spending time with her friends”.

Louise Smith funeral
Hundreds of bikers joined the funeral procession for Louise Smith (Ben Mitchell/PA)

In a statement released through Hampshire Police, they said: “She will be remembered as a smiley, generous person who loved her family and was loved by all.

“Louise had beautiful blue eyes, a cheeky smile and was known for her kindness to others.

“She loved animals and had a sarcastic sense of humour.”

More than 500 bikers turned out for Louise’s funeral on July 10, with purple ribbons lining the procession route while Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower was lit up in purple as a mark of respect.

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