A child simply does not disappear in to thin air…..
Yet that’s what seems to have happened in many cases. Frustratingly, the police have sometimes dragged their heels in the crucial hours after many kids went missing and this has resulted in years of heartache for the families left behind.
This is a chronological list of children that have gone missing in London, or whose mysterious deaths occurred or some other such unanswered investigations surrounding them. It obviously excludes those children who had gone missing from care homes or the streets, never to be seen again as society failed to recognise their existence at all.
- 9 August 1950: JEANETTE PATRICIA BEARD – 15 – Brixton. Pat (as she was known) lived in Medwin Street, Brixton. At 9.10pm she was given some money by her mother to go and buy some chips from the nearby fish and chip shop. At 9.25pm, Pat was seen staggering from Allardyce Street to Ferndale Road moaning, where she collapsed and died. Still with the money her mother had given her, she had been slashed with a razor. It was believed that the prime suspect, Victor Boyle, had murdered her in revenge for claiming to police that he had abused two young girls. He was evenutally acquitted in court. LINK
- 31 December 1959: MARY FLANAGAN – 16 – Missing from Newham, East London. Mary had overslept that morning and had decided to head to work at lunchtime in order to join in with the Tate & Lyle staff party. She was last seen walking up Wallace Road heading towards West Ham Station by her mother and younger sister as they waved her off. When Mary failed to return home her family contacted her employer only to learn that she had failed to turn up for work for the previous two weeks despite leaving the house at the normal time each day. It was understood that Mary had been flirting with a man called Thomas McGinty who, it was believed, was in the Merchant Navy and who has never been traced. LINK
- 14 February 1962: WILLIAM HOLLOWAY – 10 – Hayes. Billy (as he was known) had been playing with his friend, Jackie Verity, on waste ground in Hayes when they were approached by a man who was around 30 years old and who claimed to be a “private eye”. According to Jack, both boys gave the man their names and addresses and then Billy walked off with him whilst Jack followed some of the way (thinking they were heading to the police station) before returning home. Billy’s body was found in the Grand Union Canal exactly a month later. A coroner recorded an open verdict stating that death was by drowning but there was no obvious indication of suspicious circumstances. (The Times, 1962)
- 6 January 1967: BERNARD OLIVER – 17 – Lived in Muswell Hill, London – Body found in Suffolk. Bernard lived in Steeds Road, Muswell Hill and despite having a mental age of 11, he had not long begun working in a warehouse. He was described as quiet and gentle. He had been missing for 11 days when his dismembered body was found in two suitcases dumped in a muddy field in Tattingstone, Suffolk. One of the suitcases bore the initials ‘P.V.A’. His bottom half clothing was missing but his fingernails had been manicured and his hair nicely cut. He had been strangled and sexually assaulted. Detectives investigated allegations concerning drag parties in a house nearby involving seamen. They found an unusual matchbox in his coat pocket which they later discovered were marketed in Israel. LINK
- 3 March 1968: DAVID F LAWRENCE – 5 – Southwark. Little David Lawrence lived with his parents – Joyce and George – in Rochester House, Manciple Street, Southwark. He had spent the early part of the afternoon shopping with his aunt before heading to Tabard Gardens to play on the swings. He was last seen by a neighbour at 3.40pm. His body was found by the park keeper that night in the park’s public lavatory. There are conflicting reports on the nature of his death. ITN Source claim he had been suffocated and had a slight head wound but The Times reported he had been stabbed four or five times in the back. His killer has never been caught. LINK
- 11 August 1974: DEAN LEONARD PETTS – 12 – Islington. Very little is known about this case – especially the outcome – hence why I am including it here. On 11 August 1974 Dean’s body was found in a derelict shop in Essex Street, Islington. Dean lived at Gough House, Windsor Street – just yards from where his body was found. A 21 year old cleaner of Essex Street – Philip Victor Theodorou – was charged with his murder and on Friday 20 September 1974 he was sent by Old Street Magistrate’s Court to trial at the Old Bailey. Nothing further is known on this case. If anyone has any further information, I’d be grateful for it. LINK
- 3 September 1975: LYNNE WEEDON – 16 – Hounslow. Lynne had spent the evening with friends and was on her way home when, at around 11.20pm, she was raped and murdered near to her home. Despite still being alive when she was found, she never regained conciousness and died a week later. Following a review in 2005 and using recent advancements in DNA technology, it was discovered that the person who murdered Lynne had also murdered Eve Stratford in Leyton in 1975. Their deaths remain unsolved and police have put up a £40,000 reward. LINK
- 18 January 1976: PETER WATTS – 15 – From Colwyn Bay – found dead in near Euston Station, London. Peter left home on a Sunday afternoon whilst his parents were out and left a note saying that he was going to help a friend with his revision. It is known that Peter bought a return ticket to Chester and caught the afternoon train. Peter was found in the early hours of the following morning in an underpass close to Euston Station with severe injuries. A coroner’s report concluded that the injuries were consistent with a fall from a great height. His family and friends ruled out suicide and mysteriously all of Peter’s belongings such as his glasses, watch, wallet etc were missing, the clothes he was wearing were not his own and his body was spotlessly clean. A new plea for information was made in 2016. LINK
- 8 July 1976: ENRICO SIDOLI – 15 – Parliament Hill. During the summer heatwave of 1976, Enrico joined around a thousand other bathers at the Lido to cool down. As a packed crowd looked on, three youths mercilessly beat Enrico before holding him underwater until he stopped struggling. He was evenutally dragged from the pool by lifeguards and was still alive. However, he never regained conciousness and died 11 days later. Not one witness came forward to assist police – they came up against a complete wall of silence. Enrico’s killers have never been brought to justice. LINK
- 22 November 1978: GARY WILSON – 14 – Deptford, East London. The partially clothed body of Gary was found in a yard of a disused shop in Deptford. He had been brutally murdered and sexually assaulted. A hospital porter spent 16 years in prison for Gary’s murder, but his conviction was quashed on appeal. His killer has never been caught. LINK
- 5 November 1979: MARTIN ALLEN – 14 – Missing from Kensington, London. Martin was last seen by a friend heading to catch his train home at Old Street station after school. A number of witnesses then place Martin at Gloucester Road and Earls Court Stations, boarding a northbound train and a District Line train heading to Richmond, with a man who had hold of him by his shoulder. Martin never returned home and has never been seen since. LINK
- 16 June 1980: PATRICIA MORIS – 14 – Lived in Feltham, South West London – body found on Hounslow Heath. Patsy (as she was known) had been missing from her home since lunchtime on 16 June 1980. Her body was found on Hounslow Heath on 18 June 1980. She had been strangled. Her murderer has never been found although police have looked in to the possibility of Levi Bellfield being her killer. LINK
- 20 October 1980: OLIVER CAPLE – 16 – Lived in Richmond, South West London – body found in Mount Pleasant, London. Oliver was a trainee cameraman. He had spent some hours with a friend in London’s West End and had been drinking Vodka. They then visited the offices of Crosswind Films Ltd in Mount Pleasant at 7pm to pick up a letter from Stephen Bernstein that Oliver required to obtain a visa for an imminent trip to America. Following “some discussion about Oliver’s intentions over the trip” Bernstein asked him to return two hours later that evening after he had finished teaching a class. Oliver’s friend claimed that he left Oliver at that point as he didn’t want to wait around. An hour later a thud was heard outside and Oliver was found on the pavement. It was concluded that he had drunk excessively and fallen from the building. The police appealed for two witnesses to come forward but they never did. (Local press)
- 29 July 1981: VISHAL MEHROTRA – 8 – Missing from Putney, South West London. Vishal had just spent the day in London watching the royal wedding procession with his family. Vishal was last seen by his nanny, Janita, and sister, Mamta, crossing Upper Richmond Road and turning in to Carlton Drive heading home to join his dad. He never got there. One witness claims to have seen Vishal acting strangely at the base of the steps to a river crossing in Deodar Road. Another witness claims to have seen Vishal on a train heading to Balham with a man whom she later recognised as Leslie Bailey. Vishal’s remains were found in February 1982 in a copse in West Sussex. LINK
- 27 October 1982: EAMON FARRELL – 16 – Missing from Belfast – found in St James’ Park, London. Eamon went missing after leaving his Falls Road home at lunch time to get a hair cut. Eamon was Catholic and initially the police believed that he had been kidnapped by Protestant Extremists. However, Eamon was found by a passer-by laying on a bench in London’s St James’ Park, near Buckingham Palace four days later. He was apparently very poorly and rushed immediately to hospital. The official line was that he had run away and taken an overdose. After a few hours in hospital, his father collected him and took him back to Belfast. LINK
- 9 March 1986: KEVIN HICKS – 16 – Missing from Croydon, South London. Kevin had just had an evening meal with his family and was in good spirits. He left the house at 8.30pm to pop to the local shop (at the bottom of his street) to buy eggs for a Home Economics exam the following day. Kevin never returned home. The last sighting of Kevin was in Shirley Road at 10pm heading in the direction of home. The Metropolitan Police have today (20th December 2016) announced that following a review of the case, they believe Kevin was groomed and murdered in 1986. On 26 October 1996 an anonymous person telephoned police claiming they knew where Kevin’s body was. They never called back. Police have now put up a £20,000 reward for any information. LINK
- 10 September 1988: LEE BOXELL – 15 – Missing from Sutton, South East London. Lee had spent time in town with a friend that Saturday morning and told his friend that he may go and watch the Crystal Palace game that afternoon. He was last seen at around 2.20pm outside Tesco supermarket Sutton High Street, indicating that he probably never did get to see the football. It is understood that Lee had begun attending an unofficial youth club called ‘The Shed’ in Cheam that police subsequently discovered had been targeted by paedophiles. It was run by a local grave-digger, William Lambert, who was jailed in 2011 on charges of child sexual abuse. In 2014 the police announced that they had arrested three men on suspicion of murder. LINK
- 5 February 1990: AMES GLOVER – 5 months – Southall, West London. Ames went missing from the back seat of his father’s car. His father, Paul Glover, claimed he left Ames for 20 minutes whilst he went to a cash point followed by a takeaway. When he returned he discovered that Ames was missing. Despite a number of police appeals, Ames has never been found. LINK
- 29 July 1992: CHRISTOPHER STANLEY – 9 – Lived in Hounslow, West London – found on Hounslow Heath. Little Christopher Stanley lived with his grandmother in St Aubyn’s Avenue, Hounslow. He was playing outside in the street with a friend when he disappeared. His naked body was found in an old army pill-box on Hounslow Heath not far from his home. He had been stripped and strangled. A neighbour was arrested and charged with his murder but acquitted at trial. His murder remains unsolved. LINK
- 14 December 1994: NAYNTARA ALI – 11 – Forest Gate. Nayntara lived with her grandmother, two aunts and her younger sister. She disappeared on her way to school on 4 November 1994. Her naked body was found three weeks later wrapped in a green plastic sheet in a disused yard just 50 metres away from her home. She had been sexually assaulted. The police believe she had been murdered within the first week of her disappearance and they had already searched the yard prior to her body being found. Her killer has never been caught.
- 2 January 1998: HANNAH DETERVILLE – 15 – Lived in Perivale, West London – body found in Greenford. Hannah had been celebrating the new year with her family when she said she was going out to meet a friend. Her mutilated body was found on 27 January 1998 at an area known as a lovers lane beauty spot – Horsenden Woods, Greenford. The person responsible for the frenzied, motiveless attack has never been caught. LINK
- 23 May 1998: CARMEL FENECH – 16 – Missing from Broadfield, West Sussex/Camberwell. Carmel had just attended a court hearing in Camberwell when she simply disappeared. Carmel and her family had moved from Peckham to Broadfield 11 months prior to her disappearance. The family had moved primarily to save Carmel from falling further in to a life of hard drugs and from being in the clutches of a gang of drug dealers. Despite that, Carmel spent most of her time back in London. In 2002 her mother, Dee, received a phone call from Sussex Police informing her that they thought Carmel had been murdered. A man who was believed to have been seeing Carmel before she died was questioned by police. Carmel remains a missing person. LINK
- 11 July 1998: ADEN TEDROS – 15 – Croydon, South London. Aden left to help at a fair in Croydon and never returned. LINK
- 14 September 2007: ANDREW GOSDEN – Lives in Doncaster – Last seen at Kings Cross Station. Andrew, a highly intelligent schoolboy, bought a one-way ticket from Doncaster to London. He was last caught on CCTV at Kings Cross Station at 11.20am that day but has never been see since. LINK
- 14 March 2014: CRAIG COLE – 16 – Thornton Heath, South London. LINK