Teenager charged with murder of boy, 18, found dead in woods

A teenager will appear in court charged with the murder of a young man whose body was found in woods a day after he was reported missing.

Alex Davies, 18, was discovered in a wooded area off Parbold Hill in Parbold, Lancashire, at around 5.25pm on Wednesday.

A subsequent post-mortem examination confirmed the cause of death as stab wounds and asphyxiation, police said.

His body was discovered by a dog walker, with police saying he had ‘numerous and significant injuries’.

On Sunday, Lancashire Police said a 17-year-old from Chorley had been charged with his murder.

He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Preston Crown Court, on Monday.

Alex, from Skelmersdale, West Lancashire, was last seen near to a railway bridge in Parbold at about 2pm on April 29 and reported missing the following day.

A formal identification of his body is yet to take place, but police said his family had been informed and were being supported by officers.

DCI Geoff Hurst, of Lancashire police’s major investigation team, said: ‘My thoughts and the thoughts of every member of the team that have worked on this inquiry are with Alex’s family and friends at this exceptionally tragic and difficult time.

‘I am aware of the huge impact this crime has had on the community of Parbold, but I am heartened at the way that same community has pulled together and been so respectful to Alex, his family and to my officers who have been out trying to find the evidence that we need.

‘While a youth has been charged, our inquiries will still continue in the Parbold and Chorley areas and I would urge you to continue supporting the investigating officers.’

Friends said Davies, who worked at Home Bargains and was a rail enthusiast, was a ‘kind friend’.

Ian Hardman told the Liverpool Echo: ‘The occasions I met up with Alex would be generally through the coincidence of wanting to go and see a particular special train, be it steam or diesel or something a little unusual.’

Police are appealing for anyone with dashboard camera footage from the Parbold Hill area taken between 1pm and 5.30pm on Monday 29 April – particularly if it shows cyclists on mountain bikes – to come forward.