Police are probing the theory that Bobbi-Anne McLeod was kidnapped by a group of men with a ‘sexual motive’, it was claimed tonight.
The 18-year-old’s family believe she was snatched from a bus stop near her Plymouth home at 6pm on Saturday after she failed to meet her boyfriend, Louie Leach, who reportedly waited all night for her to arrive.
He is being comforted by the teenager’s devastated family, as police continue to question two murder suspects, aged 24 and 26, who remain in custody.
Officers are searching the area where she vanished four days ago as well as woodland and cliffs above a Devon beach where Bobbi-Anne’s body was found eight miles away yesterday.
Detectives are trying to work out if the teenager was abducted or willingly entered a car – and how many people were involved. But a source close to the investigation was quoted by The Guardian as saying ‘it was most likely a stranger abduction’ with a ‘sexual motive being a significant line of inquiry’.
A relative of Mr Leach also suggested multiple people were involved, telling MailOnline: ‘From what we know so far, she was abducted by at least two men and police have not ruled out the possibility that more were involved. And it doesn’t appear that she knew them.
‘She was at the bus stop on her way to meet Louie and then she disappeared. We haven’t been given the full details on who these men are and what actually took place.
‘The police don’t want this information getting out because it may impact the inquiry. The family are continuing to be updated by officers and there’s a lot of difficult things for them to take in.’
Louie Leach, 21, the grieving boyfriend of Bobbi-Anne McLeod is being comforted by her family today as police continue to question two murder suspects
Bobbi-Anne’s boyfriend Louie Leach, 21, (pictured together) who had been in a relationship with Bobbi-Anne for more than six months, was reportedly among the group of friends waiting for her in Plymouth city centre for a night out she never arrived on.
Her older brother Lee McLeod paid tribute to his ‘beautiful sister’ and visited flowers left in her memory
Police has closed the road leading to the Bovisand beach in Devon, where Bobbi-Anne was found dead
Forensics officers are concentrating on gathering evidence in bags in an area of woodland and cliffs above the road leaving to Bovisand bay
This afternoon, forensics officers were concentrating on the grass around the bus stop where she was last seen
Police looking for missing teenager Bobbi-Anne McLeod (pictured) have found a body
Me Leach has been staying with Bobbi-Anne’s mother and two siblings at their home in Plymouth since detectives revealed on Tuesday that a body had been discovered.
She was reported missing on Saturday evening and was found dead yesterday close to the coastal path and car park above Bovisand beach. Police have sealed off a stretch of coastline overlooking Plymouth’s Sound and are gathering evidence.
Friends told MailOnline that Bobbi-Anne, 18, had been due to meet a group including her boyfriend of six months. Louie raised the alarm when she did not show up at around 8pm. The Sun claims he waited at the bus stop all night when she vanished.
One friend said: ‘Louie is with Bobbi-Anne’s family now and they are helping each other through this difficult time. They can barely speak. There are no words for the horror they are living through. Bobbi-Anne and Louie were really in love and were a wonderful couple. They had their whole lives ahead of them and now this has been cruelly taken away from Louie and it’s crushed him.’ It came as her family thanked the public for their ‘love and support’.
The two men, aged 24 and 26, arrested last night on suspicion of her murder remain in custody. Dozens of locals arrived throughout the day to lay flowers opposite the bus stop in the Leigham area of Plymouth, where Bobbi-Anne was last seen on Saturday evening.
Many wept and hugged each other as forensic police officers in white overalls continued to search the surrounding area. Devon and Cornwall Police have not released details of her disappearance or the cause of death. But her family believes she was abducted.
Her older brother Lee McLeod, who also visited flowers today, has said that he had been desperately trying her phone and there was a four hour window between 11am and 3am on the night she vanished when it rang, before it was switched off again. He kept calling for three days until it was handed in to police by a member of the public on Monday.
Revealing that the family believed she had been snatched and held captive he told friends on Facebook: ‘Someone has my f**kin sister!!’.
Yesterday evening her relatives were given the tragic news that she had been found dead.
Forensics officers are today working in an area of forest and cliffs above the road leading to Bovisand bay, a sandy stretch of beach overlooking Plymouth’s world famous sound and harbour.
Teams of police in white suits were also working in the streets around where she lived with her mother in the Leigham area of the city. Detectives have also sealed off the bus stop where she was last seen and a verge where her headphones and tobacco pouch were found.
Flowers have been left at the Sheepstor Road bus stop in Plymouth, Devon, where she is believed to have been snatched
Residents are in mourning again after a search for Bobbi was called off after a body was found
Bobbi-Anne’s friends and loved-ones left moving messages for the teenager who was murdered over the past four days
Forensic officers carry out an investigation close to the home she left at 6pm on Saturday
A crime scene investigator near Sheepstor Road in Plymouth, with a sniffer dog
In a police statement read by Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper, she said: ‘Following information received by police, enquiries were carried out in the Bovisand area of the South Hams on Tuesday 23 November, where the body of a woman was located.
‘Formal identification has yet to be carried out, but the family of Bobbi-Anne McLeod have been informed of this development and continue to be supported by investigators.
‘Two men, aged 24 and 26, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody at this time.
‘Officers on the ground, supported by the police helicopter and other specialist resources, have been carrying out searches and enquiries in relation to this investigation. Whilst these are ongoing the public can expect to see an increased visible police presence.
‘The Bovisand road will be closed for police access over the next day or so. Residents requiring access will be spoken to and officers at the closure can be approached for assistance if needed’.
Earlier close friend and neighbour, Amanda Isaacs, released a message on behalf of Bobbi-Anne’s family.
She said: ‘The family just need privacy to grieve but the can’t thank everyone enough for their love and support.’ Amanda also paid tribute to the 18-year-old who had ‘her whole life ahead of her’.
Bobbi-Anne McLeod was reported missing on Saturday in Plymouth after she failed to meet with friends. Police arrested two men, aged 24 and 26, on suspicion of her murder.
Officers said they were growing increasingly concerned for the teenager, who was due to get a bus into the city centre to see her partner over the weekend but never arrived.
Detectives then revealed on Tuesday that a body had been found in the search for Bobbie-Anne, and while formal identification is yet to take place, they said her family had been informed.
Now, her brother, Lee McLeod has shared an emotional tribute on social media, after posting a picture of the two of them together as children.
Alongside the image he wrote: ‘Until we meet again sis. I love you.
‘You didn’t deserve this, such a beautiful and talented girl and to have you as my little sister, the adventure and journey we had been on will always be treasured. Now go rest easy.’
Bobbi-Anne’s brother, Lee McLeod, has shared an emotional tribute on social media, after posting a picture of the two of them together as children
Lee McLeod had desperately appealed on social media for help in finding his sister before tragedy struck
Timeline: How the tragedy unfolded
Close friends said they were growing fearful for what has happened to Ms McLeod (pictured) after what are believed to be her items were picked up by police
Saturday November 20
6pm: Bobbi-Anne McLeod is last seen leaving her home in Millwood Drive, Plymouth
6.23pm: 18-year-old fails to board bus for city centre at Sheepstor Road – a four minute walk from her house. Police are called later and find her headphones and tobacco at the bus stop.
11pm: Her brother Lee says her phone went to voicemail after she vanished but begins ringing through with no answer
Sunday November 21
3.45am: Bobbi-Anne’s phone stops ringing and goes to voicemail
9pm: Officers tracking the phone say it is in the Plymouth area but don’t know the exact location
Monday November 22
10.30am: Police release a statement appealing for the public’s help and urging Bobbi-Anne to get in contact if she sees it
11am: Police call family to say that Bobbi-Anne’s phone has been found by a member of the public and handed in. She had been abducted, the family say.
3pm: Searches are carried out around the area where she lived, nearby woodland and the bus stop is sealed off. Family, friends and volunteers also help with the search
Tuesday November 23
7.43pm: Police confirm they have found a body of a woman ‘near Bovisand, South Hams’. She is not formally identified but officers believe it is 18-year-old Bobbi-Anne and tell her family. Two men, aged 24 and 26 from Plymouth are arrested on suspicion of murder and are in custody.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: ‘Sadly, earlier today the body of a woman was located near Bovisand, South Hams, during searches by police officers. These searches were carried out following information received by police.
‘Formal identification has yet to be carried out but the family of Bobbi-Anne McLeod have been informed of this development and are being supported by investigators.
‘Two men, aged 24 and 26 from Plymouth have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody at this time.
‘Enquiries remain ongoing in relation to this matter and anyone with information which may assist the ongoing investigation is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 706 22/11/21.’
Close friend and neighbour Amanda Isaacs has set up a fundraiser for Bobbi-Anne’s devastated family.
Amanda set up a GoFundMe page which had raised over £4,300 by Wednesday morning. at the time of publication,
She wrote: ‘Hi my name is Amanda.
‘I am a close friend and neighbour off Bobbi and her family.
‘Unfortunately it has been confirmed after three days off searching she has sadly been taken from us.
‘She was a beautiful young girl only aged 18 with her whole life ahead of her. As you can imagine her family are going through hell, so would like this fundraiser to even help take the stress away off all this even if it really is just a little bit of help.
‘She deserves the best send off as the beautiful girl she come into this world. R.I.P sleep tight with nan and grandad.
‘You’re with the angels now.’
There was an outpouring of shock and grief on social media too.
A mother of a friend of Bobbi wrote: ‘I remember what such a beautiful and polite young girl she was.
‘All my hugs stretch out to her mum and brother at this awful time.’
Nicola Simmons added: ‘Heart breaking news for her family and friends deepest sympathy and condolences at this extremely difficult time.
Katie Hill said: ‘Unbelievably sad, so sorry for her family.
‘What is wrong with this country?’
Plymouth famous lighthouse Smeaton’s Tower was to be lit up purple on Wednesday evening in respect for Bobbi-Anne McLeod.
Purple is the national colour used to shine a light on abuse and violence towards women a statement from Plymouth city council said.
A spokesman said: ‘To remember Bobbi-Anne, and show her friends and family that the city of Plymouth mourn with them, Smeaton’s Tower will be lit purple.
‘Purple is the national colour used when shining a light on abuse and violence towards women.’
A search was conducted yesterday around Plymbridge woods and more are expected today
Officers were seen in the Millwood Drive area of the city as the search for the missing 18-year-old
Her brother Lee had previously begged for help finding her in a Facebook post, three days after she vanished.
It came after police discovered her headphones and her tobacco pouch at a bus stop while her phone was handed in.
He wrote on Facebook: ‘Police have rung and someone has handed in Bobbi’s mobile.
‘I’m begging everyone single person in Plymouth help me search everywhere search everything.
‘Her headphones and baccy were found at the bus stop and there’s just no trace. It has been sealed off and forensics are there today. Her phone has been handed in [to police] too.
‘She was due to meet her boyfriend and she never showed up, she’s been with her boyfriend a long time – about six months now.
‘I live next door and I’m a close family friend, she’s not one to just disappear, it’s very odd.
‘She’s a very in girl, she is very family orientated, she’s got a boyfriend – he’s ever so nice – and a few friends. She’s just a lovely girl and this is so out of character for her.
‘She is 18, but she is very tiny and very slim that she probably looks about 15 in reality.’
Source: Daily Mail UK