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