THE INVESTIGATION surrounding the discovery of a body in Havant is still ongoing and formal identification procedures are yet to be completed.

As previously reported, police say they are treating the death of 16-year-old Louise Smith as suspicious, after officers discovered a teenager's body in the Havant area earlier this week.

The 16-year-old had gone missing earlier this month, and before she vanished she was last seen at about midday on Friday, May 8, in Somborne Drive, Havant.

Now, officers have said that until formal identification has taken place, they will be unable to confirm the identity of the body found in Havant Thicket, and that these procedures are being carried out "as quickly as possible".

Residents have also been urged not to speculate on social media, as this may cause "further distress" to family or friends.

Detective Chief Superintendent Scott MacKechnie said: “Following our update on Thursday May 21, we wanted to let you know where we were with our investigation, as we know how upsetting the news has been overnight.

“Until formal identification procedures have been completed, we will be unable to confirm the identity of the body found at Havant Thicket. We have to be able to provide certainty to Louise’s family and also the community that Louise lived in.

“Sometimes these processes can take longer than people expect, so we hope that you understand we are doing all that we can to get this done as quickly as possible."

He added: "Our specialist officers continue to support Louise’s family at this very difficult time and this has been explained to them and we remain focused on working hard to establish the exact circumstances that led to our discovery.

“We have really valued the support we have had from the community so far, we know that this is a very difficult time, but we ask that you do not speculate on social media, as this can cause even further distress to family and friends who may be reading these posts, so please bear that in mind.

“As soon as we are in a position to update you all, we will."

Police will be conducting enquires in the Leigh Park area, and anyone with concerns can speak to the officers patrolling the area.