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Police identify body found in woods as belonging to Louise Smith, 16

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Police have confirmed that a body found in Hampshire woodland on Thursday is that of 16-year-old Louise Smith. 

The teenager, from the Leigh Park area, was reported missing on VE Day earlier this month.

Hampshire Police said formal identification procedures had been completed and that the teenager’s family had been informed – and were being supported by specialist officers.

Police investigating the disappearance of 16-year-old Louise Smith were today searching a property

Police investigating the disappearance of 16-year-old Louise Smith were today searching a property

Forensic officers spent the day sifting through the property

Forensic officers spent the day sifting through the property

Police have confirmed a body found in Hampshire woodland was that of 16-year-old Louise Smith

Mourners were today laying flowers at the site where a body was discovered in Hampshire during the search for missing 16-year-old Louise Smith. 

Today the teenager, who vanished on May 8, was described by family friends as a ‘charming young girl who had her whole life ahead of her’. 

Investigating forensic officers have also been photographed taking items from a flat in Leigh Park, Hampshire.

Devastated members of the community said Louise was ‘just your typical teenager’ as they laid flowers at a woodland site where a body was found.  

Twenty five bouquets of flowers have now been laid at the entrance to Havant Thicket, a dense woodland where the body was found. 

The floral tributes are being laid just under two miles from Louise’s home.

Eyewitnesses say that Louise was last seen at a skatepark around two miles from her home on May 8, the 75th anniversary of VE Day. 

Police officers were seen carrying items out of a property in Leigh Park, Hampshire, after a body was found in nearby woodlands in the search for 16-year-old Louise Smith

Police officers were seen carrying items out of a property in Leigh Park, Hampshire, after a body was found in nearby woodlands in the search for 16-year-old Louise Smith

Police officers were seen carrying items out of a property in Leigh Park, Hampshire, after a body was found in nearby woodlands in the search for 16-year-old Louise Smith

On Thursday, Hampshire Police confirmed that a body had been found in nearby woodland and said they were in the process of identifying who it was

On Thursday, Hampshire Police confirmed that a body had been found in nearby woodland and said they were in the process of identifying who it was

On Thursday, Hampshire Police confirmed that a body had been found in nearby woodland and said they were in the process of identifying who it was

Police were investigating her disappearance today as they searched a property.  

Police also searched another property, a semi-detached house a mile away.   

Family friend Jackie Meredith today laid a bouquet and described Louise as ‘girly’ and urged police to get to the bottom of the investigation.

Police also searched another property, a semi-detached house a mile away from Leigh Park. Pictured: An investigating officer takes items from a property

Police also searched another property, a semi-detached house a mile away from Leigh Park. Pictured: An investigating officer takes items from a property

Police also searched another property, a semi-detached house a mile away from Leigh Park. Pictured: An investigating officer takes items from a property 

Investigating Special Forensic Service officers were seen putting items into a marked police  van parked outside

Investigating Special Forensic Service officers were seen putting items into a marked police  van parked outside

Investigating Special Forensic Service officers were seen putting items into a marked police  van parked outside

Mourners have been laying flowers at the site where a body was discovered in Hampshire during the search for missing 16-year-old Louise Smith

Mourners have been laying flowers at the site where a body was discovered in Hampshire during the search for missing 16-year-old Louise Smith

Mourners have been laying flowers at the site where a body was discovered in Hampshire during the search for missing 16-year-old Louise Smith

Mrs Meredith said: ‘She was a really lovely young girl and her family were lovely too.

‘She was just your typical teenager, she was a bubbly and funny girl. You could chat to her easily, she was a charming young girl and was always friendly to people.

‘She was very popular and had lots of friends, she had a large circle of them. She was a bit girly like teenage girls are, I really can’t express how lovely she was.

‘What has happened is disgusting, it’s just so sad. I really hope the police find out what happened to her, whatever it was.

‘We need to know, we all need to know as we live here. Her parents of course need to know, but we as a community need to know.

‘It is all such a shame… She had her whole life ahead of her.

I just hope the police find out what has happened and who done it.’ 

Mourners have been laying flowers at the site where a body was discovered in Hampshire during the search for missing 16-year-old Louise Smith

Mourners have been laying flowers at the site where a body was discovered in Hampshire during the search for missing 16-year-old Louise Smith

Mourners have been laying flowers at the site where a body was discovered in Hampshire during the search for missing 16-year-old Louise Smith

Pictured: Police carry out bagged items from a home in Leigh Park, Hampshire

Pictured: Police carry out bagged items from a home in Leigh Park, Hampshire

Pictured: Police carry out bagged items from a home in Leigh Park, Hampshire

A 29-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of kidnap but were later released on bail. 

A neighbour said: ‘On VE Day I saw a red van outside the flats and a girl getting into it with bundles of clothes. I reported this to police as it didn’t feel right.

‘I can’t say if it was definitely her but it was a girl around her age.’

Another local said: ‘Louise had been suffering from depression lately and had apparently been bullied at school.’ 

Forensic officers were pictured at work at a property they searched in Leigh Park

Forensic officers were pictured at work at a property they searched in Leigh Park

Forensic officers were pictured at work at a property they searched in Leigh Park

Louise Smith's friend Mandy Fernando (pictured) leaves flowers outside Havant Thicket in Hampshire, where the 16-year-old's body was found on Thursday

Louise Smith's friend Mandy Fernando (pictured) leaves flowers outside Havant Thicket in Hampshire, where the 16-year-old's body was found on Thursday

Louise Smith’s friend Mandy Fernando (pictured) leaves flowers outside Havant Thicket in Hampshire, where the 16-year-old’s body was found on Thursday

Last Friday police started searching the house. 

‘They were there all throughout last weekend,’ a resident said.

A police officer enters the property in Leigh Park after a body was found in woodlands

A police officer enters the property in Leigh Park after a body was found in woodlands

A police officer enters the property in Leigh Park after a body was found in woodlands

Mandy Fernando has known the 16-year-old since she was a little girl.

She laid flowers at the entrance to Havant Thicket in Hampshire where police discovered a body believed to be Louise’s.

Mandy described Louise as a lovely girl with a heart of gold. ‘The community is devastated, sad, shocked,’ Mandy said. ‘I can’t speak for everybody but when anyone hears of a young person, whoever it may be, it’s very sad.’

Louise’s neighbour John Singleton said he saw the girl on the day she went missing.

‘She just went out walking, I didn’t know where she was going. It’s very sad, the outcome is the saddest, for a while we had some hope.’ 

Specialist forensic officers have been seen taking 'bag loads' of items including carpet and clothing from the flat in Havant

Specialist forensic officers have been seen taking 'bag loads' of items including carpet and clothing from the flat in Havant

Specialist forensic officers have been seen taking ‘bag loads’ of items including carpet and clothing from the flat in Havant

Police (pictured today) found a body in woodland during the hunt for Louise yesterday and confirmed they are treating it as suspicious

Police (pictured today) found a body in woodland during the hunt for Louise yesterday and confirmed they are treating it as suspicious

Police (pictured today) found a body in woodland during the hunt for Louise yesterday and confirmed they are treating it as suspicious

The teenager's last reported sighting was around midday on May 8 on Somborne Drive

The teenager's last reported sighting was around midday on May 8 on Somborne Drive

The teenager’s last reported sighting was around midday on May 8 on Somborne Drive

It also emerged yesterday that Louise’s mother wrote on Facebook the day before police found a body how frustrated she was not being able to look for her daughter.

She wrote on Wednesday night: ‘I want to scream from the rooftops that I want to be looking everywhere. I have been told not to go searching the Thicket and Leigh Park Gardens, any search must be away from there.’ 

Police have issued a CCTV image showing Louise leaving a Tesco store on the evening before she disappeared.

An eyewitness said she had gone to the supermarket twice, once with another person earlier in the afternoon and then on her own in the evening.

He said: ‘I saw Louise enter Tesco in the afternoon and then I saw her later in the day on her own buying a bag of ice.’

Police released a CCTV image of the teenager visiting a Tesco store in Greywell Road on May 7

Police released a CCTV image of the teenager visiting a Tesco store in Greywell Road on May 7

Police released a CCTV image of the teenager visiting a Tesco store in Greywell Road on May 7

DailyMail Online


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