Police have confirmed there is “no known link” between teenager Bobbi-Anne McLeod and the 24-year-old man suspected of her murder.
Ms McLeod, 18, went missing after leaving her home in Leigham, Plymouth, at about 6pm on Saturday to catch a bus into town.
Her friends, who she had been due to meet up with, raised the alarm after she failed to arrive.
After a three-day search, a body believed to be the teenager’s was found on Tuesday near Bovisand, South Hams – less than a 30-minute drive from where she vanished.
A 24-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder on Tuesday continues to be questioned by police after magistrates granted a 24-hour extension to his detention.
At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Devon and Cornwall Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper confirmed there was “no known link” between the suspect and Ms McLeod.
Police are also not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation, she said.
It is feared the teenager may have been snatched from the street as she waited at a bus stop on Sheepstor Road near her home, however this has not been confirmed by police.
A 26-year-old man also arrested on suspicion of murder had been released from police custody with no further action.
Ms Leaper said a “significant” number of inquiries and searches have been carried out as part of the ongoing investigation.
She told reporters: “I can confirm that at this time, there is no known link between the suspect and victim and I would like to reassure the public that at this time we are not seeking anyone else in relation to this matter.
“This remains a developing and active case and as such we would remind everyone not to speculate. It is crucial that we uphold the integrity of the investigation at all times.”
A candlelit vigil has been planned for Ms McLeod at 6pm on Thursday near the bus stop where she is last believed to have been seen.
Police officers in white forensic suits on Thursday could be seen carrying out fingertip searches on grassy banks around the bus stop and a pedestrian underpass near where Ms McLeod was last spotted almost five days ago.
People continued to arrive throughout the morning to lay floral tributes for the teenager on a grass verge opposite the bus stop.
A friend who would meet up with Bobbi-Anne outside of school said she still held out hope for the teenager even after she learned police had discovered a body.
“I was like ‘it could still not be her’,” she said through tears. “I still just don’t believe it. It just doesn’t feel real; I just feel like we are going to wake up.”
A woman walking her dog said she had taken a different route so she could visit the floral tributes left for Ms McLeod to pay her respects.
“It’s knocked me for six,” said the woman, who has lived in the city for almost 60 years, 17 of those in Leigham. “You don’t expect this in Plymouth. I can’t stop crying every time I think of what she’s gone through and her family.”
Two women who arrived to lay flowers said it was every parent’s worst nightmare.
“I didn’t even know her and it’s broken me,” said one, while the other added: “It’s just so cruel.”
Police have also been conducting searches in woodland near Ms McLeod’s home, and a cordon continues to block off a road leading down to Bovisand cafe and car park.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in