Detectives investigating the murder of Lucy McHugh have revealed the extent of the public response so far, but urge that there’s still more to be done.
From reports of potential sightings of the 13-year-old to people handing in sharp implements after our appeal for a weapon, the local community has rallied round over the past two weeks.
Someone out there knows something. If you can help us find Lucy’s killer, please get in touch as soon as possible.
Some people may have been away and missed our appeals, so we urge you to keep sharing these with friends.
The public response
We have received nearly 200 reports from members of the public, made either by calling 101 or using the online reporting form.
We now have CCTV footage from around 250 premises, such as shops, other businesses, council buildings and private houses.
This has provided 15,000 hours of footage, which we are continuing to analyse.
We have collected around 800 items, which have included sharp implements and clothing found during searches.
Members of the public have also helped us by reading and sharing our posts on social media.
In total, almost one million people have seen our appeals on Facebook and other social media channels.
Detective Superintendent Paul Barton said:
“The public response has been amazing and we are really grateful for the information we have received.
“Every single report is assessed by the investigation team as we piece together what happened.
“This is one of our biggest investigations in recent years and more than 200 officers have been involved up to now.
“However, there is so much work to be done and we continue to seek information about the murder weapon and Lucy’s final movements.
“Some people may have been away and missed our appeals, so we urge members of the public to keeping sharing them with their friends.
“We now know that Lucy was in Lordswood on the morning she left home. What I really want to know is where she was going and who was she meeting.
Open embedded media in the browser
“If you are one of Lucy’s friends, can you tell us who she may know who either lives in or frequents the Lordswood area?
“Did Lucy tell you about someone she was going to meet that day or has met before in the area?
“Lucy may have told you this in confidence but you are not being disloyal to her by giving us this information now – you will not be in trouble if you have been holding this back.
“Lucy was wearing distinctive camouflage leggings and may or may not have been wearing her distinctive black and white jacket that day.
“If you have any information that may help us, however insignificant it may seem, please get in touch.”
Lucy left her house in Mansel Road East in Southampton at 9am on Wednesday 25 July.
We revealed yesterday that she was seen on CCTV at the Tesco Express on the corner of Coxford Road and Lordswood Road at 9.30am.
This is close to the Sports Centre, where Lucy’s body was found at 7.45am on Thursday 26 July.
If you find anything that could be linked to the investigation, please contact us immediately so we can deal with it appropriately.
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting Operation Refund; alternatively make a report using the following link: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/1004
A 24-year-old man as previoulsy reported from Southampton was arrested on suspicion of murder and sexual activity with a child, and was subsequently technically bailed in relation to those offences, with conditions not to enter the Southampton area. The same man was charged with an offence which relates to failing to disclose a password to his Facebook account to detectives investigating Lucy murder. He was remanded in custody until 31 August.