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Convicted paedophile lived in house at centre of search for missing Leah Croucher

The man’s crimes against young girls were previously featured in a TV crime documentary.

CCTV footage showed the last confirmed sighting of Leah Croucher walking to work on the day she disappeared

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

The remains of missing teenager Leah Croucher have been potentially been found at the former home of a convicted paedophile.

The Daily Mail revealed the man’s crimes against young girls were previously featured in a TV crime documentary.

Leah vanished without a trace while walking to work three years ago in Milton Keynes near north-west London.

This week, a tip-off from a member of the public led detectives to focus on a house less than half a mile from where she was last seen.

A murder inquiry was launched when police arrived at the house and found Leah’s rucksack and other personal belongings on Monday.

During the search, authorities identified human remains they believe might be those of missing Leah.

The Daily Mail has now reported that a convicted paedophile who was featured in a real-life TV crime documentary used to live in that same house.

The programme discussed his sex crimes committed against two young girls aged between 13 and 15.

He was convicted of 5 separate offences.

It is unknown whether the rented house was occupied at the time Leah went missing in 2019.

The man’s parents told The Times that he had moved out before Leah disappeared and they had not seen him “for years.”

Tragically, a missing poster for the teenager is pinned to a tree less than 15 yards away from the property.

Neighbours recall that Leah would regular pass the house on her way to work.

Distraught neighbours told the newspaper that police regularly knocked on their doors in the search for Leah.

“Anyone who lives on the estate remembers Leah going missing and the police search,” one resident said.

"I would never have thought that she would be found in a house on the estate. She was so close to home.”

The Daily Mail reports that the house is owned by a Kuwaiti family who rarely visit the property as it has been rented out for over twenty years to different tenants. News of the investigation has shaken the area where Leah went missing in the early hours of February 15 2019.

Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Hunter said the police have scoured 1,200 hours of CCTV footage and knocked on 4,000 doors in their search for Leah.

“We are dealing with a very difficult scene but we can now confirm that we have discovered a number of items that are linked to Leah, and as such we have now launched a murder investigation, led by our Major Crime Unit,” he said.

"It is likely to take some time to formally identify the deceased.”

“Leah’s family continue to be kept informed and updated.”

Tragedy again struck the Croucher family just nine months after Leah went missing, losing her older brother to suicide.

"He obviously, as everybody knows, he couldn’t cope, he found it very difficult,” Leah’s mother Claire said of Hayden (24).

The family have said that whoever the culprit is for Leah’s disappearance, then they are responsible for Hayden’s death too.

The heart breaking discovery of remains in the search for Leah does not signal the end of the three year quest for answers.

Police are working to formally identify the human remains found in the house in Milton Keyes and proceed with a murder inquiry.

The four-bedroom property became the target of the search when cleaners made the discovery and alerted the police this week.

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