by Paul Cashmere
February 1 marks the 7th anniversary of the disappearance of Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards.
After a person has been missing 7 years they can be legally declared dead, but the parents of Edwards say they would rather keep the file open.
Richey's parents Graham and Sherry Edwards say they have no need or desire to declare their son dead at this stage despite the fact that there hasn't even been a sighting of him in years.
Manic Street Preachers also still consider Richey part of the band and his royalty cheques are still being regularly paid into a trust account.
According to richeyedwards.net, this is what happened in the last month before Richey's disappearance:
January: the Manic Street Preachers begin rehearsals for their fourth album. Richey takes £200 a day from his bank account for the two weeks before his disappearance, for a total of £2800.
14 January: Richey and his sister, Rachel, bury their dog of 17 years, Snoopy. It is the last time Rachel sees Richey.
23 January: Richey gives his last ever interview, for the Japanese magazine, Music Life, with Midori Tsukagoshi.
23 January: Richey sees his parents for the last time.
29-30 January: The Manic Street Preachers spend these days rehearsing for their upcoming tour of America.
31 January: Richey talks to his mother for the last time. He tells her that he isn't really looking forward to going to America.
31 January: Richey and James check into the London Embassy hotel on Bayswater Road in London in preparation for leaving for their promotional tour of America the next day.
1 February: 7 AM (GMT): Richey leaves the Embassy hotel, and is never seen again. It is certain that he drives to his apartment in Cardiff where he leaves some things before driving away again. But he does not enter Wales for several hours after leaving the hotel.
The following day, the bands manager filed a missing persons report. By the end of the month, Manic Street Preachers made a decision to continue in his absence.
His last known siting was November 1998: Tracey Jones, a British-born barmaid on the island of Fuerteventura, supposedly sees Richey in the Underground Bar in the town of Corralejo.
In 1996, they released the album "Everything Must Go" containing material featuring Richey. His mother Sherry wrote to the Daily Mirror in Feb 2000 pleading for Richie to come home. To date, he has not been seen.
[Originally published: undercover.com.au, 24 January 2002]