Investigation into teenager’s murder continues at pace, police say

·4-min read
Forensic teams at the bus stop where Bobbi-Anne McLeod was last seen (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Wire)
Forensic teams at the bus stop where Bobbi-Anne McLeod was last seen (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Wire)

Police are continuing to search a number of locations in Plymouth as the investigation into the murder of Bobbi-Anne McLeod continues “at pace”.

The 18-year-old went missing at around 6pm on Saturday evening after leaving her home in Leigham to catch a bus into the town centre, but never arrived.

The body of a woman was discovered in Bovisand, about seven miles from Ms McLeod’s home, on Tuesday afternoon.

Formal identification has yet to take place, but it is believed to be the missing teenager.

(Family handout)
(Family handout)

Two men, aged 24 and 26 – both from Plymouth, were arrested on suspicion of murder on Tuesday and remain in custody, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

A cordon blocking access to the Bovisand cafe and car park, and the nearby holiday park, is expected to remain in place for the next 24 to 48 hours.

Ms Mcleod’s headphones and tobacco were found at the Bampton Road bus stop where she was last seen, one of her friend’s said.

A sniffer dog was searching the area on Wednesday, while forensic officers conducted sweeps of the surrounding banks and pavement.

Officers were also searching an area of nearby woodland off Thurlestone Walk and taking soil samples from the bus stop.

A crime scene investigator searches woodland near Thurlestone Walk in Leigham, Plymouth (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Wire)
A crime scene investigator searches woodland near Thurlestone Walk in Leigham, Plymouth (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Wire)

A friend of Ms McLeod, who went to both Leigham Primary School and Tor Bridge High secondary school with her, said she believed “Bobbi didn’t have a clue” who her attackers were.

She said that according to the McLeod family, both Ms McLeod’s Airpod headphones and tobacco had been found at the bus stop where she was last seen.

“The fact Bobbi’s Airpods and baccy were at the bus stop, that shows she would have struggled,” she said.

The 19-year-old, who asked not to be named, said: “I would say Bobbi didn’t have a clue who they were – it is such a close community, I’ve grown up there since I was six years old.”

She said she had been too afraid to board a bus on Wednesday after the body was discovered, and had paid for a taxi to work instead.

The friend described Ms McLeod as “the nicest person”.

“She just used to light up the room, she always knew how to make you laugh. She was sweet – and she was so tiny.

“Bobbi was always small, she never grew.”

Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper said in a statement that inquiries were continuing “at pace”.

Speaking outside Crownhill police station in Plymouth, she said: “Officers on the ground have been and are continuing to be supported by specialist resources whilst extensive searches and forensic examination of a number of scenes is carried out.”

Ms Leaper said the public could expect to see an increased police presence in Plymouth over the coming days.

“Whilst of course we understand the public interest in this investigation, we remind the public that this is a live and active case and we ask them not to speculate at this time.”

Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper outside Crownhill Police Station in Plymouth (Ben Birchall) (PA Wire)
Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper outside Crownhill Police Station in Plymouth (Ben Birchall) (PA Wire)

She said Devon and Cornwall Police were committed to providing information on the investigation “as and when”, but refused to take questions, saying: “We must maintain the integrity of this investigation.”

Locals have been laying floral tributes close to the site of Ms McLeod’s disappearance.

Hayley Wells, a family friend who lives in Leigham and whose children grew up with Ms McLeod, told the PA news agency: “My family are there for Bobbi-Anne’s family and I have some lovely memories of Bobbi-Anne.

“This should have never happened to Bobbi and I hope she gets the justice she deserves.”

Ms McLeod’s brother, Lee wrote a tribute to his “beautiful and talented” sister in a Facebook post.

Tributes laid to Bobbi-Anne McLeod close to where she disappeared (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Wire)
Tributes laid to Bobbi-Anne McLeod close to where she disappeared (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr McLeod, who had been using his profile to rally local people to help find the teenager, said: “Until we meet again sis… I love you. You didn’t deserve this”.

“(The) journey we had been on will always be treasured now go rest easy”.

A Facebook group set up to find the teenager attracted more than 10,000 members in just two days.

A GoFundMe page set up by Amanda Isaacs, a neighbour of Ms McLeod, to pay for her funeral, has so far raised more than £5,500.

Ms Isaacs said Ms McLeod’s family are “going through hell”, adding that she hoped the fundraiser would lessen some of the stress on them.

She is also organising a candlelit vigil at 6pm on Thursday close to the bus stop on Bampton Road, Leigham, where Ms Mcleod went missing.

She urged those who are unable to attend to light a candle at 6pm in Ms McLeod’s memory.

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