Leah Croucher’s grieving sister described her family’s agony as they face their “worst nightmare” over her murder by a convicted sex offender.
The ‘agony and pain’ of not knowing what happened to Jade Croucher’s sister has ended, according to Jade Croucher, 26, whose sister’s remains were discovered in a loft in Furzton, Milton Keynes, on October 10 – close to where she went missing in 2019.
Jade added, however, that the family must now confront the’most terrifying reality’ that she was murdered by a ‘evil’ man.
Four days after Leah’s death, Thames Valley Police announced that 49-year-old deceased convicted sex offender Neil Maxwell was their prime suspect.
Maxwell committed suicide less than two months after Leah, 19, went missing on February 15, 2019.
At the time, he was wanted by police for an unrelated sexual assault allegation.
Jade, a young mother, posted a heartbreaking statement on Facebook: ‘The agony and pain of wondering where you are has ended, but the torture is far from over.
“We are now confronted with the most terrifying reality, our worst nightmare.” That you, our beautiful, loving, caring, innocent girl, were murdered by such a wicked individual.
Jade and her family waited for answers and prayed for Leah’s return for three years and eight months.
She continued, “We knew something was amiss, and we vowed from the very beginning that you did not choose to vanish.”
We believed you wouldn’t subject us to anxiety. We knew in our hearts that a terrible event had occurred.
“But when we learned that your body had been discovered in that house of horrors on a path on your way to work, our worlds collapsed…
“How could someone end such a beautiful life in such a tragic manner? How could someone offend you, much less cause you harm? ‘
Haydon Croucher, 24, committed suicide just months after Leah’s disappearance because he was distraught over not knowing what had happened to her.
Jade said, “I honestly do not know how we can ever heal from this awful anguish, the absolute horror of what we have endured, and most importantly, the sadness of losing you in this manner.”
She said, “Let the entire world know that the individual guilty for your death also has Haydon’s blood on their hands.”
“For now, the only solace I can find is in the knowledge that you two are together in paradise, where I will one day be reunited with you both.”
Jade also said, “I hope you understand how difficult it was to locate you.” I hope you realize how much you are loved by all of us, your family, your friends, Milton Keynes, and even beyond.
‘Our Leah, your warmth, light, and lovely soul had such a profound effect on those of us who had the privilege of knowing and loving you.
“Sleep soundly, my little sister, in the peace you so richly deserve, far from this cruel world.”
On February 15, 2019, Leah, an office worker, vanished without a trace on her way to work, prompting a massive police hunt.
CCTV footage showed her walking to work, but her worried relatives raised the alarm when she never returned home.
During the course of the inquiry, police conducted more than 4,000 door-to-door enquiries and conducted a large search for her. During this search, they twice visited the home where her death was discovered.
On both instances, the residence was unoccupied and leaflets were left.
During the arduous investigation, which included the deployment of specialized search teams, officers examined almost 1,200 hours of CCTV footage.
However, despite the exhaustive investigation, detectives found no leads.
A reward of £10,000 was given for information in August of 2020, which was doubled in March of the following year when police reported ‘no meaningful leads’ in the ‘confusing and frustrating’ case.
A member of the public provided police with information that led to the search of a £500,000 property on Loxbeare Drive, Milton Keynes, earlier this month.
Officers had begun examining the residence in early October, and two days after discovering the 19-year-backpack, old’s a murder investigation was initiated.
Neil Maxwell, a convicted sexual offender accused of murdering Ms. Croucher while on the run, committed suicide in April 2019 before police could capture him.
Following allegations of sexual assault in 2018, eighteen attempts were made to apprehend Maxwell.
Police stated that he was the only person with keys to the Loxbeare Drive residence at the time of Ms. Croucher’s disappearance.