Having A Missing Person In The Family

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by Rachel Elias, sister of missing Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards

Having a missing person in the family is like living in limbo.

My brother is always on my mind, a constant shadow. I no longer look for his face in every passing person - that diminishes in time.

But he's constantly in my thoughts. He was 27 when he vanished in 1995.

He'd be 43 now. When someone dies you begin in time to accept they're gone.

But when someone's missing you never have that. I'll be nervous giving my evidence to the Parliamentary missing persons inquiry on Thursday but I know it's something I have to do. The charity Missing People, for which I speak, wants MPs to deal with four main aims. We want families to know everything is being done to find their loved one.

My brother's case was handled by three separate police forces and they weren't very helpful. We want DNA of missing people to be crossmatched to unidentified bodies. We want families to have access to support.

My family was never offered any counselling. And finally we need action to reform the long, painful process of having a missing loved one declared legally dead. I still have no evidence to say that my brother Richey's not alive.

Every day I hope for some kind of outcome.

[Originally published: The Sun, 14 June 2011]

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