Missing teenager Louise Smith’s body found in woodland, police confirm

Police searching for a teenager who has been missing since VE Day have found her body.

Hampshire Police confirmed that the body found in woodland in Havant, Hampshire, on Thursday is that of 16-year-old Louise Smith.

Louise, from the Leigh Park area, was reported missing on 8 May.

Police said formal identification procedures have been completed with Louise’s family being informed and supported by specialist officers.

The teenager’s death is being treated as suspicious, police have previously said.

Friends of Louise recently spoke of their devastation.

Mandy Ferdinando knew Louise since she was a young girl and laid flowers at the entrance to Havant Thicket, where her body was found.

She said “She was a lovely girl with a heart of gold.

“The community is devastated, sad, shocked, I can’t speak for everybody but when anyone hears of a young person, whoever it may be, it’s very sad.”

Louise was last seen at about midday on 8 May in Somborne Drive in the Leigh Park area.

Forensics officers searched a flat in the street and blacked out the property’s windows.

Residents said it is believed that Louise had been staying with a couple at the flat.

John Singleton said: “I saw her 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.”

Describing the police activity at the flat, he added: “The police have been in and out carrying stuff.”

Detectives arrested a man and a woman, both aged 29, on 15 May on suspicion of kidnap and later released both on bail.

Detective Chief Superintendent Scott MacKechnie previously said: “Our officers will continue to be conducting enquires in the Leigh Park area and the extensive forensic work will continue for some days in the Havant Thicket.”

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