A billion hugs’ waiting for teenager missing a year

PUBLISHED: 16:56 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:21 25 August 2010

THE family of a schoolboy who has been missing for a year have described the past 12 months as a living nightmare .

THE family of a schoolboy who has been missing for a year have described the past 12 months as a 'living nightmare'.

Three coach loads of friends and family of Andrew Gosden, 14, travelled to London last Sunday to mark the year anniversary since his disappearance.

The gifted mathematician, who has family in Chislehurst, Blackheath and Sidcup, was last seen stepping off a train at King's Cross having travelled from his home in Doncaster and seemingly 'disappeared into thin air'.

Friends joined his parents as they handed out 15,000 leaflets to Londoners before attending a church service to remember missing children.

His father, Kevin Gosden, 42, said: "The last year has been a living nightmare. It's not a secret that I got so low at Christmas, in pure frustration and despair, that I tried to take my own life and spent a period in a psychiatric hospital.

"All of that put a huge strain on my wife Glenys and my daughter Charlotte. Any negative emotion you name, we've been there. Anger, despair, sadness, grief, we feel them all at regular intervals. It has been the toughest time imaginable.

"There is a big gap. You can't help but feel empty, there are photos of him everywhere but no him. You find yourself setting the table for four and then think 'what am I doing?'

"All we have are happy memories of him. He was never awkward or difficult. He was just a lovely, lovely lad to be around."

Andrew was extraordinarily intelligent and his teachers predicted he would sail through Oxbridge.

He won maths competitions at a national and European level and read the philosophy of Nietzsche.

His parents are flummoxed by his disappearance, which happened just a few days in to his new school term at the beginning of his GCSEs.

Mr Gosden said: "The only idea that we can come up with is that he didn't want a regular life and has resurfaced somewhere. We hope he is looking after himself and is happy."

But Mr Gosden cannot believe his son would not contact the family, knowing the devastating distress his disappearance has caused.

He added: "This is the only thing we cannot reconcile, knowing that he was not uncaring or thoughtless makes us think he has come to some harm or is being held against his will.

"It seems inconceivably cruel not to have even made contact anonymously. That is what is frightening.

"We just want him to get in touch, a postcard or anything, even anonymously. We're not angry, we're not resentful and we have a billion hugs saved up to give him. Just let us know you're safe."

There have been 122 possible sightings of Andrew over the last year yet none of them have been confirmed.

If you see him or know his whereabouts, contact Missing People on Freephone 0500 700 700.

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