Police seek public’s help to solve Havant Thicket mystery murder of Louise Smith, 16

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Enterprise News and Pictures 26/5/20 Pic shows: Louise Smith, aged 16, whose body was discovered in woodland in Hampshire on Thursday after she went missing on VE Day. Police found her remains in Havant Thicket. Louise had been staying with her cousin Chazlynn Jayne Mays, 29, known as Cjay, at her home in Havant, who was arrested along with Shane Mays, also 29, on suspicion of kidnapping Louise. Police forensic teams searched the home on Friday after the couple were arrested on May 15 and they have since been released on bail. Hampsire Police have appealed for help from the public to assist their murder investigation, and said: " Our priority remains focused on finding out what happened to Louise after she was last seen, and we are appealing for your help to piece together her final movements so we can bring whoever is responsible to justice." She was last seen around midday on VE Day in Somborne Drive. "We also have CCTV footage which shows her entering Tesco Metro on Greywell Road shortly before 7.30pm the day before - Thursday 7 May. This location is only a short walk from where Louise was staying at Ringwood House, Somborne Drive, Havant. "We are keen to trace her movements from the Somborne Drive and Greywell Road area, up to the site where she was discovered in Havant Thicket. It is possible this travel may have taken place at any time from 7.30pm on the 7th May, or on VE Day itself." Detective Chief Superintendent Scott Mackechnie said:“This is now a murder investigation and our focus is to identify who is responsible. To do this it is crucial that we capture as much information as possible regarding the moments leading up to her death." Louise Smith is pictured here on an "open" Facebook page. See story...

Detectives hope that information from the public could help solve the mysterious murder of teenager Louise Smith, whose body was discovered in woodland in Hampshire on Thursday after she went missing on VE Day.

Police found Louise’s remains in Havant Thicket.

Chazlynn Jayne Mays, 29, known as Cjay, was arrested along with Shane Mays, also 29, (both pictured above) on suspicion of kidnapping Louise, aged 16, and have since been released on bail.

Louise had been staying with her cousin Cjay at her home in Havant, after allegedly being placed there by social services. Police forensic teams searched the property on Friday after the couple were arrested on May 15. They have been bailed since until June 11.

Chazlynn Jayne Mays has been bailed until June 11

Hampshire Police have appealed for help from the public to assist their murder investigation, and said: ” Our priority remains focused on finding out what happened to Louise after she was last seen, and we are appealing for your help to piece together her final movements so we can bring whoever is responsible to justice.”

She was last seen around midday on VE Day in Somborne Drive.

“We also have CCTV footage which shows her entering Tesco Metro on Greywell Road shortly before 7.30pm the day before – Thursday 7 May. This location is only a short walk from where Louise was staying at Ringwood House, Somborne Drive, Havant.

Last CCTV image of Louise Smith at a Tesco Metro

“We are keen to trace her movements from the Somborne Drive and Greywell Road area, up to the site where she was discovered in Havant Thicket. It is possible this travel may have taken place at any time from 7.30pm on the 7th May, or on VE Day itself.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Scott Mackechnie said:“This is now a murder investigation and our focus is to identify who is responsible. To do this it is crucial that we capture as much information as possible regarding the moments leading up to her death.”

Chazlynn Mays’ sister Cassie Rawlinson, who lives in Portsmouth, Hampshire, has spoken to The Sun about the arrested couple. She said: “Shane took her in because he is kind like that. I don’t think it was the first time she had stayed there either. Shane is lovely and he helps anyone out. They’re both nice people and always help people who need it”.

The body found was confirmed to be Louise on Saturday evening and her family were then informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

Detective Mackechnie said the key information that needs piecing together is to discover how Louise ended up at Havant Thicket from the Ringwood House property. This is where police hope the public can help.

He said: “With May 8 being VE Day, people may have been having garden parties, or driving through that area to go to the shops.

“In particular we know that the thicket area is popular with dog walkers and runners. I want to focus on the community’s help as we try and piece together Louise’s movements.

“We accept that there’s going to be things said on social media; what we have to do is work on the facts and the evidence we have. Sometimes this speculation can hinder our investigation.

“But we want the public to think about that day, and whether they saw Louise or someone matching her description.”

Any member of the public with potentially helpful information is asked to call 101 and quote crime reference number 44200163113.

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