The man suspected of murdering Leah Croucher was constantly in and out of the house where the teenager’s remains were discovered
The grim discovery, alongside items belonging to the missing teenager, was made in the house once occupied by a convicted paedophile, it has been reported.
The property in Loxbeare Drive, Furzton, Milton Keynes, is less than half a mile from where she was last seen back in February 2019.
Police have today named convicted sex offender Neil Maxwell as the man suspected of murdering the missing teen.
He was found dead having taken his own life just weeks after the 19-year-old disappeared more than three years ago.
The handyman held the keys and would often visit the home, a four-bedroom detached house which was once occupied by a man previously jailed for sexual offences against two teenagers.
It is understood he was not living in the property at the time of Leah’s disappearance, and the property was rented, with the owners having nothing to do with the case.
Maxwell had been doing maintenance work and had full access to the property where Miss Croucher’s remains and her rucksack were found in the loft.
Police revealed the deviant was wanted for another serious sexual assault when he died.
Cops began searching the house after a tip-off from a member of the public on Monday, and launched a murder inquiry when they found a rucksack and other personal belongings of Ms Croucher’s.
Head of Crime Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Hunter confirmed the owner of the property was not in the UK at the time and lives overseas.
Last night, the convicted paedophile’s father told The Times that the family moved out of the property years before Leah went missing in 2019, but still lived in the area and were aware of the case.
He said they rented the house, worth around £500,000, from an owner based in Dubai.
Chief Superintendent Hunter explained: “It is unusual to name a suspect, but we have also learned this week that during the time when Leah went missing, and whilst the owner of the property was not in the UK, Maxwell was the only person to have keys to the property.
“We now know that Maxwell had keys to this property from November 2018.”
However, he emphasised: “Whilst Maxwell has been nominated as a suspect, this does not mean he is guilty of any offence.
“We will keep an open mind, and our detailed investigation will seek to gather sufficient evidence to establish the truth.
“This may or may not implicate or exonerate Maxwell or any other persons from the investigation.”