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Fresh appeal and £20K reward to find out what happen to Lee Boxell who vanished 35 years ago today

THIRTY five years ago today (September 10 2023) 15-year-old Lee Boxell left his home to go shopping.

After leaving his friend at about 1pm, he was last seen at Sutton High Street at around 2:20pm, and was never seen again.

Every day since that day in 1988, Lee’s parents have endured the agony of not knowing what happened to their son. They want to ensure that Lee, if he is no longer alive, is given a proper burial.

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn investigating said: “While we don’t have conclusive evidence that Lee came to harm, with no sightings or credible information in 35 years we sadly believe that Lee is no longer alive.

“Over the years we have interviewed a number of people who we believe were involved in, or know about Lee’s disappearance. When arrested, those people gave a number of conflicting accounts.

“One eighty-year-old man, who is now deceased, claimed that he had ‘helped Lee to get away’ and that he was now living away from his family under an assumed name. This version of events was investigated and was found not to have been credible.

“This man, and his associates, also claimed that they had seen Lee a year later. However, members of the public called police anonymously with information stating that he had bragged that he had buried Lee in the churchyard at St Dunstan’s church in Cheam.

“That information led us to conduct the largest ever archaeological dig undertaken by the Met at St Dunstan’s church yard. Sadly, that search did not find Lee and his parents continue in their desperate hope to find him.

“Lee was a boy with a very happy family life. He was a good student who loved football. The story that he had run away, started a new life and was living under an assumed name was absolutely not viable.”

Lee’s movements on the day he disappeared have been reviewed during a long running police investigation over the last three-and-a-half decades.

Information received during the investigation, also led officers to believe that Lee visited an unofficial youth club at St Dunstan’s Church where youngsters would gather that was known locally as ‘The Shed’. Many local children/teenagers would have visited ‘The Shed’. Those children are now adults who may have vital information that they have not been able to share in the past.

DCI Blackburn added: “My hope is that someone who didn’t feel they could speak to us in the past may now feel that they can come forward and share what they know.

“At this stage of our investigation my priority is to find Lee so that he can be returned to his parents. Lee’s parents deserve answers and they deserve the opportunity to bury their much-loved son.

“Your information could help end the suffering for Lee’s family. If you can help, anonymously or otherwise please do get in touch.”

Lee’s parents, Peter and Christine Boxell are desperate for Lee to be returned to them.

Peter Boxell said: “We have not seen or heard from our dear son Lee since he went to Sutton, thirty-five years ago on 10th September 1988.

“He was only 15 when he disappeared. We fear that Lee may have been murdered. We are still hoping that someone will come forward to help find his remains, so that my wife and I can say goodbye to our beloved son before it’s too late for us (we are in our late 70s). If you can help us and his sister finally know what happened and have some closure - please, do what’s right.

“If you know where he may be, or have any information about what happened to Lee, please contact the police Investigation team on 0208721 4005 or if you prefer, you can tell the charity Crimestoppers what you know, anonymously. Once you’ve given your information you need never have any further involvement with anyone about the case. Crimestoppers can’t identify who you are and will never ask or take any personal details from you. So, this really does give someone a chance to do the right thing and help ease our years of pain. We can then see Lee finally laid to rest”

A reward of £20,000 has been offered by Crimestoppers for information that leads to the recovery of Lee’s remains. To be eligible for the reward the information would need to be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers direct and not via police.

Read this piece I did about the case five years ago.


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