THE AF­TER­MATH

Real Crime - - The Disappearance Of Andrew Gosden -

How can you grieve without a body? and how can you ever give up hope without definite an­swers?

Cur­rently the face of the Miss­ing Peo­ple char­ity’s ‘ Find Every Child’ cam­paign, An­drew’s face can be seen on bill­boards across the UK. In this me­dia, much at­ten­tion is paid to his right ear, which fea­tures a unique dou­ble ridge on the side. For rea­sons un­known, this was a de­tail po­lice orig­i­nally asked the fam­ily to with­hold from the pub­lic. On said bill­boards, age- pro­gres­sion im­ages are also fea­tured, show­ing An­drew with long hair, and also short, bleached- blond hair.

Four months after An­drew went miss­ing, cit­ing stress from sus­pi­cion by the po­lice, An­drew’s speech ther­a­pist father Kevin at­tempted sui­cide. He sur­vived, spent 15 weeks in psy­chi­atric care, and hasn’t worked since. Without a body, he still main­tains hope he will one day see his son alive, de­spite a po­lice foren­sic psy­chol­ogy re­port that sug­gests An­drew has long passed. Glenys con­tin­ues to work in speech ther­apy. Char­lotte, also a gifted stu­dent at McAu­ley, gained 11 GCSEs the year of her brother’s dis­ap­pear­ance, nine of them

A*. Two years later, she got five As at A- Level, win­ning a place to read phi­los­o­phy, pol­i­tics and eco­nom­ics at Bal­liol Col­lege, Ox­ford. Un­der­stand­ably over­whelmed by the events of the years pre­ced­ing, she stopped her stud­ies after the first week of her sec­ond term. She now works in bank­ing and is mar­ried.

Char­lotte told The Times in 2012 about how, on the morn­ing of An­drew’s dis­ap­pear­ance, she’d gone into his room, it be­ing the only room in the house with a full- length mir­ror. “He was ly­ing in, as nor­mal, so I woke him,” she re­called. “You al­ways wish, when you look back, that you could have done or said some­thing dif­fer­ent.

But you know it’s too late.”

De­ter­mined to find an­swers, the Gos­dens have spent year upon year search­ing the cap­i­tal. An­drew’s face ap­peared on milk car­tons sold by the su­per­mar­ket chain Ice­land and on the side of bin lor­ries. A fam­ily friend of­fered up their Porsche as a re­ward for in­for­ma­tion that would re­late to An­drew’s lo­ca­tion. The Gos­dens ap­peared on TV shows Panorama and Lor­raine to ap­peal to any­one who might know any­thing, up­ping their ef­forts in 2017, the tenth an­niver­sary of An­drew’s dis­ap­pear­ance. Cru­elly, they’ve had peo­ple con­tact­ing them pre­tend­ing to be their miss­ing son. South York­shire Po­lice also made a plea for new in­for­ma­tion.

Over the years, the Gos­dens have con­tin­ued to work the mu­sic the­ory, with friends and fam­ily hand­ing out in the re­gion of 10,000 fly­ers at a Muse gig in Oc­to­ber of 2009, at the same Sh­effield Arena venue they’d all seen the band to­gether at two years prior. They did the same a few days later, as Muse per­formed at Lon­don’s O2 Arena. Maybe An­drew had gone to check out his old favourites? Muse even of­fered free tick­ets if An­drew would re­veal him­self.

The Gos­dens did sim­i­larly at the Whitby Goth Fes­ti­val that same year.

It was also in 2009 that the Gos­dens made the ag­o­nis­ing de­ci­sion to largely re­dec­o­rate An­drew’s room, though the gem and rock col­lec­tion re­main. “There’s a voice in you that says, ‘ Just get out, be some­where dif­fer­ent, and then it won’t feel so im­mi­nent’” Kevin told the BBC last year, when asked if the fam­ily had ever con­sid­ered leav­ing the Balby house they once shared with their son. “But there’s also a lit­tle voice in my head that says, ‘ He went off with your front door key and we haven’t changed the locks’ so, hey, in the hope that he’s still alive and well some­where, we’re still here.”

The Gos­dens have spent the years since An­drew went miss­ing top­ping up his bank ac­count with reg­u­lar sums of money. There have been no with­drawals.

“If An­drew is alive,” Kevin told us, “we want peo­ple to be look­ing for a guy of al­most 25, who speaks quickly and qui­etly, maybe with a trace of a York­shire ac­cent still. He will need strong pre­scrip­tion glasses or con­tacts. He will have an un­usual shape to his right ear and he will still be deaf in his left ear, mean­ing that you could just no­tice if he does not turn to sound cor­rectly. An­drew can hear a pin drop in his right ear, but he does not do stereo. It is not likely that he would be very tall, five feet eight or nine inches ( 1.73- 1.75 me­tres)... He prob­a­bly still walks quickly with long strides. Those are things some­one could pick up on now.

“He could have al­tered his ap­pear­ance sig­nif­i­cantly, for ex­am­ple, his hair, fa­cial hair, dress sense, swap­ping glasses for con­tacts, but those sorts of de­tails... could give him away.”

A searc h of the us­ing Thames Riv er sonar unco vered aban­doned an car and a corpse its f eet tr apped with trace in con­crete , but of An­drew no

These age- pro­gres­sion im­ages of An­drew fea­tured in a Miss­ing Peo­ple char­ity cam­paign and were on dis­play across the UK

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