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Man charged with rape and murder of Kayleigh Haywood, 15

Published 19/11/2015

Kayleigh Haywood vanished after she was dropped off at Ibstock Community College (Leicestershire Police/PA)
Kayleigh Haywood vanished after she was dropped off at Ibstock Community College (Leicestershire Police/PA)

A man has been charged with the rape and murder of teenager Kayleigh Haywood whose body was found by police yesterday, five days after she went missing.

Stephen Beadman, 28, was charged by Leicestershire Police with murder and one count of rape.

A second man, Luke Harlow, 27, is accused of grooming and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

The pair, both from George Avenue in the village of Ibstock, Leicestershire, are in custody and will appear at Leicester Magistrates' Court tomorrow.

Kayleigh, 15, from Measham in the county, was last seen by her family at around 6pm last Friday when she was dropped off outside Ibstock Community College, in the village.

Police searched extensively for the missing youngster until officers found a body they believe to be that of Kayleigh last night in undergrowth near a lake in Ibstock.

It was removed from the scene at lunchtime and a post-mortem examination will be carried out to determine the cause of her death.

After the discovery her family said: "We are heartbroken, grief stricken and as a family, utterly devastated. There are no words to express the way we are feeling.

"We cannot even begin to thank the local communities and wider public for their messages of support which have helped us through the last week.

"We are also grateful for the publicity the media have given to Kayleigh's disappearance and the desperate search to find her."

This evening hundreds of people poured into the grounds of the St Laurence Church in Measham to pay their respects to Kayleigh.

Reverend Linda Cox, from the church, said: "It was a very sombre atmosphere in there, but it was also a very supporting and loving atmosphere for each other and particularly for Kayleigh's family.

"It's mournful but respectful, and people want to come together to show their support."

Speaking about the family, Ms Cox said: "They are distraught and distressed at this time, but thankful for the support and the love that is being shown to them."

Outside the gates of the Sence Valley Forest Park, one of the areas where police had been looking for traces of the teenager, bouquets and messages had been left as well as purple ribbons - her favourite colour.

Among the tributes was one which said: "Heaven gains another angel too early."

Another said: "Thinking of you all through the most difficult times. Sleep tight angel, may the place you be now be a kinder one."

A third was addressed to Kayleigh's family and friends and said: "May you find comfort in the love you are surrounded by at this awful time. May the angels look after your baby girl."

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