The parents of missing Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards have said they will never allow their son to be declared dead.
As reported yesterday on NME.COM (January 22), speculation has been growing that the case on Richey would finally be closed on the seventh anniversary of his death, when it only then becomes legally possible. Missing persons can officially declared dead after seven years if no body has been found and there have been no confirmed sightings of them.
However, Graham and Sherry Edwards confirmed last night that they would not be taking up the option to put their son to rest on February 1.
Since Richey vanished in 1995, the Manics have been putting a quarter of their royalties into a trust fund. A death certificate would allow his Blackwood parents, as next of kin, to open the account.
But Graham Edwards told today's Welsh Mirror: "We want our son back, not the money. We will never declare him dead. As far as we are concerned he is still alive and we have always felt the same.
"We're not going to get a death certificate - not now and not in the future. The Trust Fund will be staying exactly as it is.
"Because this is the seventh anniversary of Richey's disappearance we're aware some sections of the press are speculating about his affairs.
"But as far as we are concerned he remains a missing person and we are still hoping and praying that some day he will return to his family and friends."
The couple, and Richey's sister Rachel, are to issue a new appeal for information in a forthcoming issue of homeless magazine The Big Issue.
A spokeswoman for the National Missing Persons Helpline said: "After seven years it becomes possible to register a missing person as dead. But Richey's family are not going to do that now or even in future years."
[Originally published: nme.com, 23 January 2002]