Police investigating a murder in Parbold have confirmed the victim is 18-year-old Alex Davies.
Officers were called around 5.25pm on Wednesday, May 1, after a body was found in a wooded area off Parbold Hill.
While formal identification has yet to be carried out, the body is believed to be that of Alex Davies, 18, from Skelmersdale.
Mr Davies was reported missing from home on April 30 but the last confirmed sighting is at about 2pm on Monday, April 29, on Station Road in Parbold, near to the railway bridge.
Mr Davies’ family have been informed and are being supported by specially trained family liaison officers
Police said: "A post mortem examination has been carried out and the cause of death has been established but for operational reasons we cannot disclose this at this time."
Police are carrying out a number of enquiries in a bid to trace Alex’s movements from the time he went missing to the time his body was found in a bid to find his killer.
And the man leading the enquiry has also appealed to people to come forward if they suspect they know who the killer is.
Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Hurst, of Lancashire Police’s Force Major Investigation Team, said: “This is a truly shocking murder of a young man and my thoughts are with his family and friends at this desperately sad time. Alex was a much-loved son and brother and his family are obviously distraught by what has happened.
“I have a dedicated team of officers and staff working on this enquiry and we are doing all we can to find whoever it is who has committed this horrific act.
“We are keeping an open mind for the reason Alex was in the Parbold area but it could be that he has arranged to meet someone. I would appeal to anyone with information which could assist to come forward.
“We are carrying out CCTV and house to house enquiries in the area to try and piece together Alex’s movements and to try to identify his killer but I need the public’s help as someone out there could hold the key to solving this horrendous crime.
“Furthermore, if you have seen anyone acting suspiciously or any unusual behaviour in the area in recent days, please come forward.
“It may be that someone you have some suspicions about someone you know – have they been acting out of character recently, do they have any unexplained injuries or have they come home with blood on their clothes?
“You may think you are doing the right thing protecting them but if anyone does have suspicions about an individual I would ask them to search their conscience and do the right thing and contact police. We need to find the person who has done this.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log reference 0460 of May 3rd or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Alternatively you can submit information through the major crime web portal here