Leah Croucher murder suspect, 49, killed himself in a bike shed two months after teenager vanished
The chief suspect in the murder of teenager Leah Croucher killed himself and left a suicide note just two months after her death, it emerged today.
Convicted sex offender Neil Maxwell, 49, was found hanging in a bike shed in April 2019 – two months after Leah, 19, went missing on February 15 of that year.
A huge police search was undertaken to trace the office worker – who appeared to have vanished without a trace while walking to work from her home in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
Her remains were found three years later in the attic of an unoccupied house in Milton Keynes where Maxwell worked as a handyman – which she may have passed on her route to work.
Shortly after the discovery, police named Maxwell as the chief suspect and a murder investigation is ongoing.
Milton Keynes coroner Tom Osborne was requested to release information from an earlier inquest held into the death of Maxwell.
READ MORE: ‘SOLEMN’ FUNERAL SERVICE HELD FOR LEAH CROUCHER
Today, Mr Osborne revealed that Maxwell’s body was discovered hanging in a bike shed two months after Leah disappeared in April 2019.
His death was recorded as suicide, the coroner revealed.
He had left a suicide note but no details from the note have been released.
Last October, immediately after he was declared a suspect, national press requested to see the public record of the inquest into his death.
But, unusually Mr Osborne refused to release the details, initially promising they would be made public after a few weeks.
When November came, he still refused to make them public, saying police believed the release could ‘seriously jeopardise’ the murder investigation.
At the time Mr Osborne said: ‘The presumption in favour of open and transparent justice would normally dictate that I disclose the record of inquest.
‘However, I have every reason to believe that disclosure of the document at this stage may seriously compromise and indeed jeopardise the ongoing investigation.
‘For that reason the balance is in favour of not disclosing the document, for the time being, although it is a matter that will be kept under constant review.’
The cause of death was hanging and the verdict was suicide. The record states: ‘He left a suicide note.’
The inquest details released this week contain only Maxwell’s name and basic details, along with minimum information about his death.
His occupation is stated as ‘builder’ and his address as North Street, Milton Keynes.
He died on April 20, 2019 and the place of death was recorded as ‘Bike shed, Mainstay Court, Campbell Park’.
Sources say Maxwell left another polite handwritten note on the cupboard, saying:
‘Please do not come in. There is a dead body inside. Call the police.’
The investigation into Leah’s murder remains ongoing. A post mortem was unable to establish the cause of her death.