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Body found in Hampshire woodland confirmed to be missing girl, 16

Body found in search confirmed to be Louise Smith
Louise Smith, 16, went missing on May 8 (Picture: Hyde News & Pictures Ltd/ PA)

Police have confirmed that a body found in a Hampshire woodland is that of missing girl Louise Smith, 16.

The teenager, from the Leigh Park area, was reported missing on May 8. A murder investigation was then launched after a body was found in Havant Thicket on Thursday.

Hampshire Police have now confirmed that formal identification procedures of the body have now been completed and Louise’s family have been informed of her death. They are being supported by specialist officers.

A married couple, both 29, were arrested on suspicion of kidnap while the teenager remained missing and have since been released on bail. Louise is reported to have been placed in their care by social services.

Hyde News & Pictures Ltd. 19/05/2020 This is a new photo of missing schoolgirl Louise Smith, 16, who it was feared had been kidnapped. Today (Tues) the hunt for the Havant teenager entered its 11th day after searches of woodland and ornamental lake failed to find any trace of her. Two people both 29 were arrested on suspicion of kidnap but have been released on bail. See copy HNPsearch
Police have confirmed the teen’s body has been found (Picture: HNP Newsdesk/Hyde News & Pictures Ltd)

Investigating forensic officers are continuing to search the couple’s flat in Leigh Park, and could be seen taking carpet and clothes from the building.

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A relative of the couple told The Sun they had contacted Louise’s mum when she first disappeared and were the ones who had reported her missing.

Since the news of her death, family friends have paid tribute to Louise, describing her as a ‘charming young girl who had her whole life ahead of her’.

Family friend Jackie Meredith said she was a ‘really lovely young girl’ who was funny and girly with a ‘large circle of friends’.

Pictured: Missing Louise Smith. Mobile phone footage of people celebrating VE Day could play a key role in the search for a missing teenager, police said today. Police have urged people to come forward if they filmed celebrations on their driveway or neighbourhood in the town where 16-year-old Louise Smith went missing.??The teenager's disappearance in Havant, Hants, on May 7 - the day before VE Day - has led to two kidnap arrests. Hampshire Constabulary today said the force and Louise's family are 'understandably concerned' for her welfare. SEE OUR COPY FOR DETAILS Please byline: Hampshire Police/Solent News ? Hampshire Police/Solent News & Photo Agency UK +44 (0) 2380 458800
She was described as being ‘girly and funny’ by a family friend (Picture: Solent News)
Flowers left outside Havant Thicket in Hampshire, where the body of 16-year-old Louise Smith was found on Thursday. Friends of Louise have spoken of their devastation as police search a property where she had been staying. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday May 22, 2020. See PA story POLICE Kidnap. Photo credit should read: Ben Mitchell/PA Wire
Residents of the area have expressed their shock (Picture: PA)

She continued: ‘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.’

Another elderly woman living in the block of flats where the couple were arrestd described it as an ‘awful business’. She added: ‘The couple were very quiet, they kept themselves to themselves and I didn’t see them much.

‘For something like this to happen so close to me is so frightening – this is usually a good block.’

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Source: Metro News UK

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