Louise Smith missing: Lake at Staunton Country Park included in police search for missing Havant girl

A LAKE is set to be searched as police continue to hunt for clues over the disappearance of a missing teenager from Havant.

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 12:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 6:56 pm

Louise Smith, 16, vanished 11 days ago on VE Day and has not been in touch with her family since.

Detectives are now intensifying their search of Havant’s Staunton Country Park, with Hampshire police confirming the hunt will now include the beauty spot’s lake.

It comes as Hampshire Search and Rescue volunteers and police enter the fourth day of a detailed trawl of the park and nearby Havant Thicket.

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Louise Smith, 16, from Havant, has been missing since Friday, May 8.

Speaking of the latest development, a spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary told The News officers will be ‘covering the whole area’ with the lake ‘also being covered as part of searches’.

The official added: ‘This still remains a missing person investigation.’

Chief Inspector Alex Reading, Havant district commander, said: ‘Louise, if you are reading this, please call us and let us know you are okay. We just want to know that you are safe.

Police were seen at Staunton Country Park on Sunday, May 17. PC Sainsbury co-ordinated the search. Picture: Sarah Standing (170520-2090)

‘If you feel you cannot call us, then please call a friend or a loved one – we need to know that you are okay.’

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Louise was last seen at midday on Friday, May 8, in Somborne Drive, Leigh Park.

Police added they were growing more concerned for her safety and yesterday issued a fresh appeal for help.

Louise Smith, 16, from Havant, has been missing since Friday, May 8.

Families in Leigh Park who were celebrating VE Day from their driveway are being urged to check any footage from the day to see if they captured Louise walking in the area.

Likewise, motorists with dashboard cameras who were driving through Leigh Park and Havant on VE Day are also being urged to review their footage to see if they inadvertently record the teen.

Chief Insp Reading said: ‘We know a lot of people would have been out on their driveways on VE Day, and may have been filming the celebrations in their neighbourhood on camera or mobile phone.

‘If you were out celebrating or filming on VE Day in Leigh Park, we ask you to please take a look back over your footage to see if you captured Louise walking by.

The entrance to Staunton Country Park where searches have been taking place for the past four days. Picture: Sarah Standing (170520-8625)

‘Perhaps you drove through the area on VE Day and saw someone matching Louise’s description, or caught her on dash cam. Please check your dash cam footage from this day to see if it captured anything that could help our investigation.’

Louise is white, around 5ft 2ins tall, of slim build and has straight, black, shoulder-length hair.

She was last seen wearing black jeans, a black and white striped T-shirt, black trainers and a black coat with a fur hood on Thursday, May 7 - the day before she vanished.

However, police said they ‘can’t be certain’ that she might have been wearing this the day she disappeared.

Those with information should call 101 quoting 44200163113, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Information can also be submitted online at: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/44HC20E08-PO1

Officers will be carrying out a search of the park's lake as the hunt for clues continues. Photo: Sarah Standing (170520-8617)

As part of the investigation, a 29-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of kidnap.

Both have since been released on police bail until June 11.

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