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Louise Smith, 16, ‘seen getting into red van days before she vanished’

Louise Smith

Louise Smith disappeared on VE day (Picture: PA)

A missing 16-year-old girl was allegedly seen ‘getting into a red van with a bag of clothes’.

Louise Smith’s last reported sighting was around midday on May 8 – VE Day – on Somborne Drive, Havant, just five minutes walk from her home.

On Thursday police found a body in dense Hampshire woodland just a mile and a half from her house.

Detectives were today searching the home of a married couple who live close by.

Specialist forensic officers have been seen taking ‘bag loads’ of items including carpet and clothing from the flat.

Pictured: Missing Louise Smith. Mobile phone footage of people celebrating VE Day could play a key role in the search for a missing teenager, police said today. Police have urged people to come forward if they filmed celebrations on their driveway or neighbourhood in the town where 16-year-old Louise Smith went missing.??The teenager's disappearance in Havant, Hants, on May 7 - the day before VE Day - has led to two kidnap arrests. Hampshire Constabulary today said the force and Louise's family are 'understandably concerned' for her welfare. SEE OUR COPY FOR DETAILS Please byline: Hampshire Police/Solent News ? Hampshire Police/Solent News & Photo Agency UK +44 (0) 2380 458800

Police investigating the disappearance of Louise Smith have found a body (Picture: Solent News)

Someone else living in the apartment block said on the day Louise went missing he saw a ‘red van’ outside the block of flats which a girl got into with bags of clothes.

They said: ‘On VE Day I saw a red van outside the flats and a girl getting into it with bundles of clothes.

‘I reported this to police as it didn’t feel right… I can’t say if it was definitely her but it was a girl around her age.’

Last weekend police released a man and woman, both 29, on bail after they were arrested on suspicion of kidnap.

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

The discovery was made in woodland in Havant, Hampshire (Picture: PA)

It is understood Louise may have been heading to a skatepark three miles away in nearby Emsworth when she disappeared, and had told friends she would be back later.

Since then officers have been scouring the local area including woodland and a nearby lake.

On Wednesday police released CCTV images showing Louise visiting a Tesco on the evening of May 7.

Earlier this week Hampshire Constabulary said mobile phone footage of VE Day celebrations filmed in Havant could be key to their investigation and urged anyone with footage to come forward.

Louise lives with her mum Cooper Rebecca 39, and stepfather Richard O’Shea.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk. For more stories like this, check our news page.

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