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Man charged with murdering Louise Smith, 16, who was found dead in woodland

Louise Smith disappeared on VE Day

Louise Smith disappeared on VE Day

A man has been charged with murdering Louise Smith, 16, who disappeared from her home on VE Day.

Shane Lee Mays, 29, has been remanded in custody and will appear in court tomorrow morning.

Louise went missing from her home in Havant, Hampshire, on May 8.

Her body was found in woodland nearby on May 21.

She was described by a family friend as a ‘lovely girl with a heart of gold’.

Police have not yet released a cause of death and have been searching the area where she was found.

Flowers left outside Havant Thicket in Hampshire, where the body of 16-year-old Louise Smith was found on Thursday. Friends of Louise have spoken of their devastation as police search a property where she had been staying. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday May 22, 2020. See PA story POLICE Kidnap. Photo credit should read: Ben Mitchell/PA Wire

Flowers left outside Havant Thicket in Hampshire, where the body of 16-year-old Louise Smith was found (Picture: PA)

Undated handout photo issued by Hampshire Constabulary of Louise Smith. A murder investigation has been launched after the death of the 16-year-old, whose body was found in woodland in Havant on Thursday. PA Photo. Issue date: Sunday May 24, 2020. See PA story POLICE Kidnap. Photo credit should read: Hampshire Constabulary/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Louise Smith in a photograph issued by police (Picture: PA)

Police cordon by the B2149 road by Havant Thicket. Police have found a body in the search for a 16-year-old girl who has been missing since VE Day. The discovery was made in woodland in Havant, Hampshire by officers searching for Louise Smith who was last seen on May 8. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 21, 2020. See PA story POLICE Kidnap. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

A police cordon by the B2149 road by Havant Thicket (Picture: PA)

Hampshire Police said Mays, also of Havant, will appear at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

A 29-year-old woman who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender in connection with the investigation has been released on bail.

Mandy Ferdinando, who had known Louise since she was a young girl, previously said: ‘She was a lovely girl with a heart of gold.

‘The community is devastated, sad, shocked.

‘I can’t speak for everybody but when anyone hears of a young person, whoever it may be, it’s very sad.’

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