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Parents desperate for answers over 15-year-old last seen in Sutton 25 years ago

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A TEENAGER thought to have disappeared 25 years ago after going to a Crystal Palace match may have been murdered after visiting an unofficial youth club in an area frequented by paedophiles.

Lee Boxell was last seen in Sutton High Street on September 10, 1988, aged 15.

Police at first believed he had gone to watch Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, but they now think he may have gone to a youth hang-out known as The Shed, an outbuilding in the grounds of St Dunstan's Church, Cheam.

And detectives say they are aware of paedophile activity in the Cheam area at the time.

His distraught parents, Peter and Christine Boxell, appeared on the BBC's Crimewatch programme last Thursday to appeal for information about his disappearance.

This led to 40 calls to police in the 15 hours after the broadcast.

Mrs Boxell told Crimewatch of her "nightmare" and added: "I think if he is out there is he is cold, you know, and is he sleeping rough?

"I think all different scenarios of what could happen and what he would be like now."

Detective Inspector John McQuade, of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: "We believe that there is a witness or witnesses who would have been at The Shed on the day Lee went missing and we would appeal directly to those people to come forward.

"For almost 25 years police have been working tirelessly to trace Lee's whereabouts and provide his family with answers.

"I am appealing to anyone who knows where Lee is or what happened to him on that day to contact police – no piece of information is too small."

Det Insp McQuade added that although this is still a missing persons case, there has been no trace of Lee under his own name or assumed alias, and there is little evidence to suggest he is alive.

He added: "If Lee did come to some harm someone knows where Lee's body is buried.

"People who used to attend The Shed in 1988 may be parents themselves now with children of Lee's age and we would appeal to them to examine their conscience and come forward.

"Lee's family have had to endure 25 years of not knowing where he has gone and they have a right to know what has happened to him."

When he disappeared, Lee was 5ft 6in tall, slim and with light brown hair. He was wearing a white Flintstones T-shirt, black jeans and brown suede shoes.

His mother added: "We want somebody to come forward and put our minds at rest as to what happened to him."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sutton Incident Room, on 020 8721 4005 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Parents desperate for answers over 15-year-old last seen in Sutton 25 years ago


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