AN EXPERT has warned the family of missing Doncaster teenager Andrew Gosden he is probably dead - and that they may never find his body.
His parents, who would have been celebrating their son’s 18th birthday tomorrow, say they have been told the police are looking at scaling down the long-running investigation into his disappearance.
Andrew’s family will lay flowers at their local church St James, Hexthorpe, tomorrow to mark the date, and are urging the public to continue looking at missing people websites.
But dad Kevin said a forensic psychologist’s report from the police had suggested the family’s worst fears may be correct.
Andrew has not been since September 2007, when he left the family home on Littlemoor Lane, Balby.
They thought he was heading for McAuley School as usual, but instead he was caught on closed circuit television cameras leaving Kings Cross railway station in London later the same day.
A sonar search of the River Thames earlier this year found no trace of a body.
Dad Kevin said the family had asked for a forensic psychologist’s report shortly after Andrew first went missing.
He said: “There is an outside possibility that he is still alive, but now we are thinking he is probably not.
“The forensic psychology report by the police came to the same conclusion.
“We suggested it in October 2007, and it finally arrived a few weeks ago.
“We wanted to know things like if a boy like Andrew, quite intellectual and self contained, was feeling suicidal, how well would they be able to conceal it, and what the odds were that if he had gone to London that he would have encountered someone predatory.
“A few weeks ago we got the report pretty much confirming what we feared, that he is probably dead.
“It was what we felt, but it was still pretty tough seeing it in black and white from someone outside the situation.
“As a result, the police are saying they are going to scale down the investigation, but the case will not be closed.
“None of the possible sightings has ever come to anything.
“We’re still in limbo because there is no body. The forensic report said that, given that we don’t know what his destination was, it may be we never turn up a body if he is dead.
“His mum Glenys has said the day he walked out it was like someone stuck a knife in us. Every time you move it hurts, and it is painful all the time.
“If his body was found, or if he rang to say he was alright, it would be like the knife being pulled out, and we could start to heal.”
Kevin said the charity Missing People had been helpful to the family while Andrew has been missing and urged people to visit its website and consider supporting the cause, from donating money to spending a few minutes looking at the faces of the missing.
Log on to www.missingpeople.org.uk to check.