The Disappearance of Andrew Gosden

The one case that no matter how much time has passed, has always stuck with me is the one of 14-year-old Andrew Gosden...

Andrew was born on the 10th of July 1993 and was described by his family as being "very exceptionally clever, almost genius level" and it's been over 10 years since he was last seen.

Andrew Gosden 14 Missing UK London Theories

On September 14th, 2007, 14-year-old Andrew Gosden woke up and left for the school he attended (The McAuley Catholic High School), just like normal. His parents said he woke up later than usual and seemed a little more grumpy but there was nothing to suggest that anything was wrong. He left at 8.05am and told his parents he would "see them later". He would usually catch the bus but on this day, Andrew had no intention of going to school. Instead, he walked to the local park, near his home and waited for the rest of his family to leave for work.

Once he knew they were out of the way, he let himself back in, changed out of his school clothes and instead put on a more casual attire, which consisted of black jeans and a Slipknot t-shirt. He hung his blazer on the back of his chair and put his shirt and trousers in the washing machine, as he always did after school. And then he left again for Doncaster train station, taking with him his favourite black messenger bag, which his sister, Charlotte had stitched patches of his favourite bands on to. His family said he also took his keys, wallet and his PSP console, but not the charger and they don't believe he took anything else with him, such as spare clothes. On the way to the train station, he stopped at a cash machine and withdrew £200. Once at the train station, he asked for a single to London. When the operator asked if he'd like a return for 50p more, he was adamant he just wanted a one-way ticket.

Andrew Gosden 14 Missing UK London Theories

At 9:35am, he boarded the train to Kings Cross in London, the journey from Doncaster is usually about an hour and fifty-five minutes. A witness came forward and said that he sat quietly and played on his PSP console, throughout the journey. The train arrived at Kings Cross and CCTV footage showed Andrew leaving the station at 11:20am and to this day, this has been the last confirmed sighting of him. A witness later came forward and claimed that they saw him in Pizza Hut later that day and although this could not be confirmed, his family believe it was him, due to the description that they gave.

When the family arrived home, they assumed Andrew was either in their converted basement playing on his Xbox console or in his room. It wasn't until dinner time that they realised, he was actually not home. They phoned all the obvious contacts but no one had seen him. By 7pm, the worry had really started to set in and they phoned the police. They also tried to think of all his favourite places, to see if he was there but alas, they couldn't find him. His dad, Kevin thought that London was a huge possibility because Andrew really loved it there and they also had family that lived there. They'd visited many times over the years, going to concerts and visiting museums, so Andrew was comfortable catching the tube and getting buses.

Andrew Gosden 14 Missing UK London Theories
Local police soon discovered that he had travelled to London but it took them 27 DAYS to even gather the CCTV footage from the Kings Cross Station. They didn't bother to try and retrieve anymore CCTV footage from other potential sightings and the family felt that instead of the police following leads in London, they were more focused on them, in particular, Andrew's dad, Kevin.

Of course, the police have to follow all potential leads but they were almost certain that Andrew had been abused, whether that be physically, sexually or emotionally. Kevin even said that he felt like if they didn't have the CCTV footage of Andrew at Kings Cross, he'd also have been accused of murder too. It got so bad that Kevin attempted to take his own life because he felt that if he was no longer around, the police would have no choice but to stop focusing on him and actually find his son. Luckily, he was found in time but still to this day, Kevin suffers from PTSD, anxiety and depression. 

Andrew Gosden 14 Missing UK London Theories

Since Andrew's disappearance, his family have tried to piece together why he went to London that day and they think he probably wanted to go to an event, which fell on a school day and knew he wouldn't have been allowed to go, so he went by himself and probably was met with foul play at some point. Andrew was a thoughtful boy, who would even leave a note if he was going to the local shop, so his trip to London was so out of character for him.

Currently, there are no leads as to where Andrew could be or what may have happened to him. However, something strange did happen in November of 2008. After a segment about Andrew had aired on the One Show, a man went into Leominster police station and as it was evening time, the intercom system was in place. He used it and stated that he had information on the Andrew Gosden case, but by the time a police officer had arrived to take the details, the man had left. Appeals have been made for the man to come forward but no one has done so thus far.

Andrew Gosden 14 Missing UK London Theories
age progression photographs - created in 2009

He went to an event?
I think the theory that I probably believe the most is that Andrew decided to ruin his 100% attendance at school and go to an event in London instead. There was a YouTube gathering that day, as well as 30 Seconds to Mars and SikTH concerts that he may have been interested in attending and he might have even been keen to purchase the PSP 2000, which had been released, only days before. I personally believe that he had every intention of returning home but was met with some form of foul play, along the way. If you were in London on the 14th of September 2007, and either have images or footage of the day, be sure to have a closer look at it! You never know who could be lurking in the background! 

He wanted to start a new life?
Andrew's favourite tv show was reportedly The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, which was originally aired in the 70's and the premise was basically a man that faked his own death so he could start a new life. This alongside the fact that Andrew only asked for a one-way ticket to London has led a lot of people to believe that he decided to run away from home and start a new life. The only pieces of information that I have found to support this theory is the fact that he was from a religious background, maybe he felt like he couldn't be his true self and decided to go it alone but honestly, I feel like there are too many flaws to this theory. 

Firstly, his family have made it very clear that they were very supportive of whatever their children wanted to do, they just wanted them to be happy. Their parenting style wasn't controlling or limiting. There's a letter on the official find Andrew website and it says just this. Also, he didn't take an awful lot with him, the day he went missing. Although he may have taken more with him than his family claimed, it's obvious he didn't take a lot because we saw just that in the CCTV evidence and I feel like he'd of at least taken his PSP console charger and the £100 in his bedroom but this could have just been a case of him forgetting it, we'll never know. Realistically though, a 14-year-old that looks even younger, would not have been able to start a new life all by himself, in London.

He decided to end his life?
Another popular theory is that Andrew had been suffering from depression or some other mental illness and went to London as some sort of last hurrah, before ending his own life. His family don't think this could be possible but from personal experience, I know that I went through years and years of mental illness before my parents knew anything. Another theory is that he was being bullied, which could also tie in with the suicide theory but his family also doesn't think this could be possible either. His sister, Charlotte even helped run an anti-bullying scheme at their school and the topic was often discussed at their dinner table. He was also very close to his sister and would probably have felt comfortable confiding in her. 

As he opted for a one-way ticket, people believe that he had no intention of returning home but I know that when I first started visiting London alone, I'd always opt to get two singles instead because I didn't understand that open returns were a thing, until much later. And as he had family that lived in London, I would imagine that he always felt that going to stay with them was a promising option and he'd face to music with his parents later on. His family believe this to be the case too and I agree. However, in 2011 the Gosden family paid a private company to perform a sonar search of the River Thames. As a result of this, a body was found but it wasn't Andrew's. I personally don't think I believe this theory because although it's possible, I think it's unlikely that a body wouldn't have been found, after all these years.

He had plans to meet an online friend?
Before I read into this case properly, I always thought that he'd definitely met someone online and they weren't who they said they were and ended up harming him, but again, the family don't believe this could be the case. He didn't have a phone...apparently, he lost it a while back and wasn't interesting in getting a new one. He didn't have a computer of his own so his online use would have had to of been on his family's computer, on his Xbox or PSP or a computer at school or at the library. His family believe that he wasn't interested in computers or socialising online and they said he didn't even have an email address but a part of me struggles to believe this.

In 2007, I would have been 12 years-old and even I had been on the internet and had my own email address. He was 14 and attended school, so, he would have at least had a school email address and back then, it was also the time where you could connect to anyone's wi-fi, without even needing a password. I remember meeting some really great friends online at a young age because they shared my taste in music. Andrew was also a huge music fan and could have joined chat-rooms or online forums and met some online friends, as it was said that he didn't have too many friends in real life. Maybe he knew his family wouldn't let him meet a stranger that he'd been talking to online, so went on his own to meet them. Of course, all computers were searched and nothing found. Police know of his PSP serial number and are on the lookout for its return.

Andrew Gosden 14 Missing UK London Theories

And that's all the information that I've managed to find! Honestly, this case will always stay very close to my heart. I don't quite understand how someone can just disappear without a trace, especially in London. It's now been over 10 years since Andrew was last seen and the family are still as broken as ever. In September of 2017, it was announced that the police were launching a fresh appeal, even though there are currently no leads and the UK charity - Missing People made Andrew the face of their 'Find Every Child' campaign. 

Taking away all logic, I hope he is found someday, simply so his family can finally have some closure, my heart absolutely breaks for them. I think the only hope now relies on the man that has information regarding the case to come forward again, or anyone else that knows some information. If you have any thoughts on this case or any suggestions on which case to write about next, please let me know in the comments, or send it on this anonymous form! And if you're interested in learning more about this case, I highly suggest you listen to the 'Thin Air' podcast, where they interview Kevin Gosden, Andrew's father, it was a very interesting listen!

If you think you have any information that could help this case, please contact South Yorks Police on 0114-220 2020 or Missing People on 116 000.

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