British detectives investigating the death of a teenage girl whose body was found in a park are looking for up to six men after revealing the victim was assaulted over several hours and may have been abducted.
Mary-Ann Leneghan, 16, died in Prospect Park, Reading, Berkshire, in the early hours of Saturday and her 18-year-old friend, who is now in a serious, but stable condition in hospital, was found nearby.
Guns and knives were used in the attack, although Mary-Ann died of a single stab wound to the neck and was not shot.
Chief Supt Mark Warwick, of Thames Valley Police, said there had been “serious assaults throughout the evening, culminating in the death of the 16-year-old”.
He added that the girls may have been abducted by a group of men driving a maroon or burgundy four-door saloon before being taken to a guest house.
“We’re not sure whether they knew the males and we’re certainly not happy that they actually went with consent.
“These girls may have been in some distress from the moment they left the white car,” he said.
Between 10pm and 11pm on Friday, the girls were in a white car in the car park of the Wallingford Arms in Caroline Street before going to the other car, parked in Wickes car park in Weldale Street, and arriving at the Abbey Guest House in Connaught Road at 1am.
The vehicle, which was playing loud music and contained the girls and up to six men, left the guest house between 3am and 5am.
Mary-Ann’s body was found by police at 5.30am after the 18-year-old woman raised the alarm.
Mr Warwick said the men police are looking for may be of mixed race, white or Afro-Caribbean.
Three men in their 20s from the London area who were arrested in Reading on Saturday in connection with the incident were released on bail yesterday morning.
Mary-Ann’s grieving father Bertie, 50, described her as “clever” and “artistic” but said she had fallen in with a bad group of people.