Teen in Slipknot T-shirt bought ticket to London 15 years ago and just vanished
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It is the mystery which has baffled police for the last 15 years as they searched for a missing teen who travelled to London and simply vanished.
On the morning of September 14, 2007, 14-year-old Andrew Gosden skipped school and left his house in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, withdrew £200, and bought a one-way ticket to London.
He bought the ticket for £31.40 and boarded a train at 9.35am.
The ticket seller later recalled she had told him a return ticket would cost him just 50p more but he insisted on a single.
On the train to the capital other passengers said he quietly played his game console while his school tried, and failed, to contact his parents to say he had not turned up for classes.
At 11:20am Andrew arrived at King's Cross station and was captured on CCTV leaving the main entrance of the station.
He was wearing black jeans and a black Slipknot T-shirt.
Five minutes later he vanished. The last sightings of him were on CCTV cameras from inside the station.
This was the last confirmed sighting of him though police later released CCTV footage showing a boy believed to be Andrew walking down a London street.
His parents did not realise he was missing until later that afternoon when they contacted police.
Despite countless major public appeals and investigations, no confirmed sightings of the boy have ever been made.
His family has commissioned numerous searches, including a sonar scan of the River Thames, and numerous images showing he might look as he grew older have been released.
His reason for heading to London or his whereabouts after that remain unknown almost 15 years later.
Andrew – described as a happy, intelligent and kind lad – left no note and had not indicated he was unhappy.
Despite extensive searches, no trace of him was ever found, nor could cops find evidence he had been communicating with anyone or had planned to leave.
The possibility that Andrew had gone to London to see somebody he met online was investigated.
But there was no trace of activity by the teen on his home, school or local library computers.
It was also thought he may have travelled for a heavy metal concert.
In 2009, Andrew’s father Kevin said he still thought his son’s disappearance was a “spur of the moment thing”.
While their son remains missing, his family have continued to release age-progression images of Andrew.
In December last year a major breakthrough in the case happened.
South Yorkshire Police revealed that two men were arrested in London on December 8 over the kidnap and people trafficking of Andrew.
A 45-year-old man from London was arrested on suspicion of kidnap, human trafficking and the possession of indecent images of children.
A 38-year-old man, also from London, was arrested on suspicion of kidnap and human trafficking. They have both been released under investigation while police continue their enquiries.
At the time of the arrests senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Andy Knowles said: “Our priority at this time is supporting Andrew’s family while we work through this new line of enquiry in the investigation.
"We are in close contact with them and they ask that their privacy is respected as our investigation continues.
“We have made numerous appeals over the years to find out where Andrew is and what happened to him when he disappeared. I would encourage anyone with any information they have not yet reported to come forward.”
His father Kevin, mum Glenys and sister Charlotte have never given up hope they will one day find out what happened to their treasured son.
His dad Kevin, previously told the Daily Star: “We had no warning, no clue, no evidence he had been communicating with anybody.
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Around 250,000 people go missing every year in the the UK, with about 140,000 of them being young people.
The charity Missing People tries to reconnect those that have disappeared with their loved-ones.
It runs helplines and offers support to both those who have run away and distraught families who have been torn apart by a disappearance.
It has helped not just Andrew's family, but thousands of others.
- If you have information, need help, emotional support or are affected by someone going missing, you can call its 24-hour helpline on 116 000 or email [email protected]
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