Tuesday, 21 May 2019

#FindEveryChild Week - Lee's story

This year, we are launching #FindEveryChild week. With over 80,000 children being reported missing in the UK every year, it's important that we're able to offer our services round the clock. Our helpline supports young people who are at risk of harm, as well as the families desperate for answers. We have been speaking with some of the families whose children have been missing for a long time. Lee Boxell has been missing since September 1988. His dad has shared his story below.



The last time


The last time I saw Lee was Saturday 10th September 1988. He was 15 years old. It was a lovely warm sunny day and my daughter, and my wife Christine, were all going out to different places that day and Lee was last to get up. He wandered down the stairs in his pyjamas, sunk down in the armchair and I asked him, ‘What are you doing today?’ He mumbled something in reply, half asleep, so I didn’t want to press him because I knew he wasn’t quite awake. So we went out and that was the last time I ever saw my dear son.


Life in limbo


It has been very hard to cope with the disappearance of Lee. The police were exceptionally good. It is very rare they would make an appeal for a boy of 15 who’s gone missing, but in Lee’s case they investigated it thoroughly and they were sure Lee had come to some harm. They did a television appeal and from there we set out to get as much publicity as possible for our son, which is very very hard to do.


Support


Missing People have helped us considerably. They’ve drummed up loads of publicity. We’ve had lots of interviews in the media; television, radio, and they’ve always been here to help me. The advice I’d give to a family if one of their loved ones went missing, would be to first of all contact the police and then contact Missing People. They will provide exceptional help.


Hope


My hope for the future is that we will one day, soon, find out what happened to our son, Lee. Whether he is still alive or whether he was murdered, we want to know what happened to him. We want to find him alive hopefully and if not, we want to find his remains so that we can put his body to rest so that we can grieve. Since 1988 we have been living in limbo, not knowing what’s happened to Lee, not knowing whether he’s alive, whether he’s safe and well, or whether he has actually been murdered.





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Someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. The Missing Blog aims to give a voice to all those affected by this issue.

Written by families and friends of missing people, supporters working to raise awareness of the cause, and volunteers and staff at the charity Missing People, we hope that this blog will offer a window into the issue of missing.

The charity Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. To find out more about Missing People and ways that you can support the charity visit www.missingpeople.org.uk.

Call or text the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.