The brother of Bobbi-Anne McLeod has paid tribute to the “beautiful and talented” teenager as police continue to question two men arrested on suspicion of her murder.
The 18-year-old went missing after leaving her home in Leigham, Plymouth, at about 6pm on Saturday.
She was due to catch a bus into Plymouth city centre to meet some friends but never arrived.
A woman’s body was found on Tuesday during a police search near Bovisand, South Hams – about 25 minutes away.
Formal identification has not yet taken place, but the family of Ms McLeod has been informed.
Two men, aged 24 and 26, have been arrested on suspicion of murder. Devon and Cornwall Police’s assistant chief constable said on Wednesday afternoon the men, both from Plymouth, remained in custody.
In an emotional tribute posted on Facebook, Ms McLeod’s brother Lee shared a photo of the siblings in their primary school uniform.
He wrote: “Until we meet again sis. I love you.
“You didn’t deserve this such a beautiful and talented girl and to have you as my little sister the adventure and journey we had been on will always be treasured. Now go rest easy.”
Friends and neighbours have also paid tribute to the teenager and more than £3,000 has been crowdfunded to help her family.
Amanda Isaacs, who set up the online fundraiser and describes herself as a close friend and neighbour of Ms McLeod, wrote: “She was a beautiful young girl only aged 18 with her whole life ahead off her.
“She deserves the best send off as the beautiful girl she come in to this world.”
Paying tribute, another friend wrote on social media: “You were such an amazing friend taken way too soon and will forever have a place in my heart.
“Literally the late night talks we used to have will be missed so much but you have grown your wings and I’ll see you one day.”
Another well-wisher added: “Such a sad loss so beautiful so young you never deserved this fly high beautiful angel so sorry this has happened to you and hope justice is brought to those who did this.”
Plymouth landmark Smeaton’s Tower is to be lit up purple on Wednesday evening in tribute to Ms McLeod.
Councillor Nick Kelly, leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “This is really tragic news. Bobbi-Anne McLeod was a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her. It is devastating that someone has chosen to take this away.
“I am sure that the shock of this tragedy will not just be felt in Leigham but across the whole of our city and I know that everyone will stand with me when I say that all our thoughts are with her family and friends at this devastating time.”
Nikki Leaper, Devon and Cornwall Police’s assistance chief constable, said on Wednesday that inquiries were ongoing and urged the public to avoid speculation.
“Extensive searches and forensic examination of a number of scenes [are] being carried out as we speak,” she told a press conferene.
Ms McLeod’s disappearance comes just months after Plymouth was rocked by a mass shooting in the Keyham area in August.
Jake Davidson, 22, shot dead five people before turning the gun on himself before police could intervene.
Luke Pollard, the Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said the discovery of a body in the search for Ms McLeod was another “dark day” for the city.
He tweeted: “It is devastating news for our city that a body has been discovered in the search for missing Bobbi-Anne. My thoughts and love are with the family.
“We await news from the police but this is another dark day for our city. Let’s pull together in the same way we did after Keyham.”
Johnny Mercer, Conservative MP for Plymouth Moor View, added: “I’m devastated that something like this could happen in Plymouth. We are a close-knit, deeply proud and community-centred city.
“I remain in close communication with Devon and Cornwall Police and other local community leaders. All of our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Bobbi-Anne at this awful time.”