Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Leonne Weeks death: Teenager arrested in Rotherham murder probe

Leonne Weeks Image copyright Leonne Weeks
Image caption Leonne Weeks was reported missing 20 minutes before her body was found, police said

An 18-year-old man has been arrested after a teenage girl's body was found on a path.

The body was found on Monday morning near Lordens Hill in Dinnington, Rotherham, South Yorkshire Police said.

The teenager from Dinnington was arrested on Monday night on suspicion of murder.

The girl has been named locally as 16-year-old Leonne Weeks, also from the town. Friends and family have left tributes on her Facebook page.

For live updates and more from across Yorkshire

Image caption Police remain at the scene near Lordens Hill in Dinnington and are operating patrols in the area
Image caption The girl's body was found on a pathway
Image caption Floral tributes have been left near the murder scene
Image caption A cordon is also in place where the girl's body was discovered

Senior investigating officer, Temporary Det Ch Insp Martin Tate, said: "This is clearly a murder inquiry. We're working very, very hard to gather as much as evidence as we can.

"That is going to take us a little bit of time, but we are working with the family and providing them with the information as we get it."

Patrols have been increased in the area to reassure the community and police have asked for anyone with more information to make contact.

Image copyright Leonne Weeks
Image caption Police are treating the death as a murder inquiry

At a news conference on Monday night, Temporary Supt Sarah Poolman had said police were treating the death as suspicious.

She said the force received a report of a missing person 20 minutes before the body was found.

Friends and family posted Facebook appeals for Leonne's whereabouts on Monday morning after she failed to return home.

By 18:00, comments hoping she would be found safe had changed to well wishes to the family after "heartbreaking news".

Image caption South Yorkshire Police's Martin Tate said the force was working hard to gather evidence

More than 100 tributes were posted on Leonne's Facebook account under her latest profile picture.

One, written by Bommer McLauchlan, said: "Fly high cousin can't believe you have gone miss you."

Another, Danny Bowskill said: "Rest in peace my wonderful niece never thought I would ever be writing this but Leonne Weeks you (were) and still are loved by so many. I'll be there for your dad and mum all the way."

Braden Oldfield added: "Sleep tight Leonne, Can't believe [you have] been taken away so early gone but never forgotten."

Image caption A white police tent was erected on the pathway while forensics teams investigate
Image caption Floral tributes were left in memory of the teenager

Police have asked the family's privacy be respected.

Rebecca Staples, principal of Dinnington High School where Leonne was a pupil, said pupils and staff were receiving support.

A message on the school's Facebook page said it had drafted in additional security staff to "reassure" parents and pupils and added it was "being extra vigilant to ensure all young people remain safe".

Ms Staples said: "We have a lot of upset students because of what has happened in a small community.

"Support for students and staff is available while we wait for more news."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites