Thames Valley Police have launched a murder investigation after discovering the personal belongings of missing teenager Leah Croucher who disappeared three years ago.
Missing teenager Leah Croucher was just 19 years old when she was reported missing in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, on 15 February 2019.
Thames Valley Police confirmed in a statement that a rucksack and other "personal possessions" belonging to Ms Croucher had been found at an address after a tip-off from a member of the public on Monday.
The property, which is in the Furzton area of Milton Keynes is currently being searched by specialised teams who police say will remain there for "a significant period of time."
The teenager appeared to simply vanish while walking to work in 2019.
The last sighting of Ms Croucher was on CCTV on Buzzacott Lane, in the Furzton area, at around 8.15am on the day of her disappearance.
Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Hunter said: "Following a call to police on Monday, we attended an address and located items of concern within the property.
"We are dealing with a very difficult scene but we can now confirm that we have discovered a number of items that are linked to Leah, and as such we have now launched a murder investigation."
He added that Ms Croucher's family are being supported by officers and being updated on every step of the investigation.
"There remains a scene watch in place at the address while this investigation continues, and we are committed to ensuring that our inquiries at the scene are thorough."
Mr Hunter disclosed the huge effort that had been put into searching for Ms Croucher over the last three years, with officers watching over 1,200 hours of CCTV and carrying out 4,000 house-to-house inquiries.
The search effort has involved specialist police teams, police dogs, the marine unit, and the National Police Air Service.
He added: "The call from the member of the public that we received on Monday was the first occasion that we were alerted to this address, and we thank them for contacting us immediately to report their concerns.
"Our thoughts remain with Leah's family and friends, and we will continue to offer them all the support that they need."