Hundreds gather to pay tribute to teenager as police reveal she had ‘no link’ with murder suspect
At 6pm on Thursday, traffic was brought to a standstill as a sea of candles floated down the road past the bus stop where Bobbi-Anne McLeod was last seen almost exactly five days earlier.
Hundreds of people had already gathered around scores of flowers left in tribute to the 18-year-old on a grass verge opposite the bus stop in Plymouth’s Bampton Road where she went missing.
The crowd fell silent as Ms McLeod’s family arrived at a table filled with framed photographs of the teenager.
Her distraught mother thanked the community of Leigham for their support and for doing everything they could to help bring her daughter home.
“Thank you for doing everything to try and find her and bring our baby home,” she said.
Applause broke out as balloons drifted up to the sky and those gathered raised up their candles.
Someone in the crowd turned to the person beside her to utter her regret at having not walked her dog at that time on Saturday. “I could have saved her,” she said.
Most of the police cordon appeared to have been removed from the bus stop and underpass at the scene near Ms McLeod’s home in Leigham.
Earlier in the day, police revealed there was “no known link” between the teenager and the 24-year-old man arrested on suspicion of her murder.
Magistrates granted officers more time to question the suspect, while a 26-year-old man, also arrested on suspicion of murder on Tuesday, was released without further action.
Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation.
Ms McLeod went missing after leaving her home in Leigham 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 Ms McLeod’s was found near Bovisand, South Hams – less than a 30-minute drive from where she vanished.
It is feared the teenager may have been snatched from the street as she waited at a bus stop on Bampton Road near her home, however this has not been confirmed by police.
At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Devon and Cornwall Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper said a “significant” number of inquiries and searches had already been carried out.
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 second vigil is expected to be held for Ms McLeod at Smeaton’s Tower on Plymouth Hoe at 6pm on Friday.