Andrew Gosden was 14 in 2007 when he disappeared, seemingly of his own accord.
It was Friday September 14th, 2007, the second week of school in Doncaster, UK. Andrew was very bright and did well in school, especially maths. Andrew left for school in the morning, saying “See you later” to his family, but secretly doubled back once the rest of his family had left. He changed out of his school uniform, put that in the washing machine, and grabbed his PSP (Playstation handheld game console). He was wearing a SlipKnot t-shirt, jeans and carrying a messenger bag. He then withdrew £200 from his bank account.
Andrew went to the Doncaster railway station and purchased a one-way ticket to London. In the UK, a return ticket is usually only a few pounds more than a one way tickets and can be valid for a month. Andrew refused this option when offered by the ticket agent. He boarded the 9:35am train to King’s Cross. He was seen by witnesses on the train alone, playing on his PSP.
At 11:20am, Andrew was captured on CCTV leaving the main entrance of King’s Cross station. This is the last sighting of Andrew, and you can see it on the photo at the start of this post.
It was not until the evening that Andrew’s family knew he was missing. They called for him at dinner but had no response. His family were left scratching their heads as to why Andrew would run away and not return. His father Kevin asks: “Was there something troubling him that he felt he couldn’t tell us? In my heart I still think his disappearance was a spur of the moment thing.”
His mother Glenys thinks Andrew may have left because he was so bright, and bored of school. “He didn’t want to be pigeon-holed,” she says, “he wanted to step outside of it all, almost as though he was taking an early gap year.”
My theory: Andrew was lured to London and murdered. I just don’t believe he wanted to run away permanently or kill himself. He seemed close to his family, his dad even took him to rock concerts. Maybe he put himself under pressure with his grades and just wanted a day or weekend break, to be a little rebellious. As for why he didn’t buy a return ticket: maybe he just didn’t understand. As far as I know, he had never been to London on his own. Maybe he did not understand it would be much cheaper to buy a return rather than two one way tickets. Maybe he was nervous to buy the ticket and practiced beforehand. He got flustered when asked if he wanted a return ticket and just stuck to his ‘script’. This is certainly possible if he had social anxiety and was doing something rebellious.
I think Andrew could have been vulnerable to a predator either online or in person. His parents have said he did not use the computer or mobile phone often, but I think it’s possible he did, and his parents weren’t aware of it. Police searched all devices and found no evidence he was meeting someone but I still believe it’s possible. If he was being groomed, he even could have been given a Pay As You Go phone. He also could have been lured by a local predator who convinced Andrew to meet him in London.
Another possibility is he went to London entirely of his own accord and was the victim of an opportunistic predator. Maybe he just wanted a day on his own and was planning on returning later that night. Andrew would have been vulnerable walking around London on his own. Whatever the case, I believe Andrew unfortunately met his demise shortly after arriving in London alone.