Elizabeth Bond highlights the case of the mysterious disappearance of Andrew Gosden; last seen in London in 2007 aged just 14.
Yesterday marked the 28th birthday of Andrew Gosden. He did not, however, celebrate the day with his immediate family as he vanished in September 2007.
It’s a case that has received relatively little media coverage – at least in comparison to that of Madeleine McCann, who went missing the same year – but now it’s an appropriate time to rectify this and appeal for anyone with information to come forward.
What makes this story so baffling is that there has been no explanation for what happened. At the time of his disappearance, Andrew Gosden was a promising 14-year-old student from a happy, loving home in Doncaster. He had a 100% attendance record at school and was expected to score straight A grades in his exams. There is no evidence that he was being bullied or suffering from depression of any kind.
Yet on the morning of 14th September 2007, Andrew did not catch the bus to school as usual. Instead, he waited in a nearby park until his parents had gone to work. He then returned home, changed out of his school uniform, and put on a black Slipknot T-shirt and a pair of jeans. He left the house, taking only a black canvas bag and a portable games console with him, and went to a local cashpoint where he withdrew £200.
At around 9:30 am, Andrew made his way to Doncaster Station and bought a one-way ticket to London. He refused the offer of a return ticket, despite it costing less than a pound more. He then boarded a train, and two hours later was pictured on CCTV leaving King’s Cross Station and heading out onto the streets of London. This was the last confirmed sighting of him, and there has been no trace of him since. His bank account has also remained untouched since that day.
Unfortunately, due to errors on the part of the school, the Gosden family did not realise that Andrew had gone missing until later that evening. In addition, it took a few days for the lady who sold Andrew the ticket for London to come forward, and several weeks before police identified Andrew on camera at King’s Cross. All these delays meant that other potential CCTV street footage of Andrew was wiped.
The Gosden family has searched tirelessly for Andrew and tried to ascertain the reasons for his disappearance. It has been suggested that Andrew may have met someone online who persuaded him to come to London. However, there is nothing to support this theory. Andrew did not have a mobile phone or an e-mail address, and his family has said that he did not even seem particularly interested in the Internet.
To date, nothing has come from appeals or supposed sightings of Andrew. Nevertheless, the Gosden family has not given up hope of ever hearing from him one day. An age-progressed image of Andrew was released in 2019. The family has also set up a website which includes a personal message for Andrew, as well as contact details. If Andrew should read this, they say that they do not care about the past or any decisions he may have made. They simply love and miss him, and hope to hear from him, so they can support him in any way.
If anyone else believes they have information about Andrew, they can contact South Yorkshire Police on 0114-220 2020 or Missing People on 116 000.
Follow the efforts to find Andrew Gosden on Twitter by clicking here.
Pictured top: Andrew Gosden (left) and an age-progressed image of how he might now look that was released in 2019.