Appeal to goths to help find missing teenager

THE hunt for a teenager missing for 17 months is to come to Whitby.

The family of 15-year-old Andrew Gosden, who was last seen at king's Cross station in London on September 14 2007 - the same day he left the family home in Doncaster, are hoping that his fellow music lovers may be able to supply a clue to his whereabouts.

Dad Kevin is hoping that visitors to Whitby's Goth Festival in April may be able to help in the search and has contacted a charity with links to the organisers to publicise the family's desperate hunt for the youngster.

There have been two possible sightings of Andrew, who was 14 when he went missing, this year.

But Kevin is refusing to raise his hopes too far.

Both sightings were lodged on a Facebook page set up by the family as part of their hunt for Andrew and have been referred to police, who have been asked to check CCTV pictures in connection to sightings.

One of the reports was outside the Natural History Museum, while the other was at a pub in Southend, where CCTV was present.

Dad Kevin, aged 43, of Littlemoor Lane, Balby, Doncaster said: "The sighting outside the Natural History Museum was from a guy who said he looked taller than Andrew was, had longer hair, long black hair, and looked a bit gothy. Andrew could have grown and grown his hair since we last saw him, and it seemed quite an intelligent sighting from that point of view.

"But we've had a number of sightings in the last year and a half, so I'm not holding my breath."

The family plans to mark 18 months since Andrew went missing on March 14 with a day of prayer and fasting for missing children at their parish church, St James' in Doncaster.

The church will be open to anyone between 6pm and 8pm and will have displays from the main charities involved with missing people, with information, prayer areas and videos. The idea is that people can come and go during that time as they please.

Meanwhile, they are stepping up the search. Last year Kevin e-mailed every school in the country with details of Andrew. He had contacted around two thirds of the country's secondary schools from local authority lists, when a commercial organisation was told what he was doing, and offered free use of its database to contact every school in the country for free. Normally it charges 500.

Many have e-mailed back promising to circulate information or put up a poster.

Now he is moving on to contact all the museums in the country, and goth websites.

He says Andrew was keen on visiting museums, and believes it is likely that his music taste will remain as it was, which would link him to the goth sites.

He hopes to contact organisations which will be involved in the goth festival which is held in Whitby.

"There is a goth weekend held in Whitby in April. I thought I would e-mail a charity, who have contacts with the people who organise the event.