The Puzzling Case Of Andrew Gosden, The 14-Year-Old Who Disappeared While Traveling To London

Published March 18, 2024
Updated March 20, 2024

In 2007, Doncaster teen Andrew Gosden skipped school and bought a one-way train ticket to London — then vanished without a trace.

Andrew Gosden

Missing PeopleAndrew Gosden as he was last seen, captured on CCTV footage at King’s Cross.

On Sept. 14, 2007, 14-year-old Andrew Gosden skipped school, withdrew around £200 from his bank account, and bought a one-way train ticket to London. The last time he was ever seen, it was on CCTV footage captured at King’s Cross Station.

In the years since, little information about Andrew Gosden or his whereabouts has been revealed. Police are still unsure why Andrew headed to London that day, or whom he was planning to meet, if anyone. And though two men were arrested in December 2021 on suspicion of kidnapping Andrew, they have since been cleared of any suspicion in the matter.

Today, the case of Andrew Gosden’s disappearance continues to baffle experts and true crime enthusiasts alike — with any answers seemingly ever out of reach.

A Quiet, Intelligent Kid

One of the strangest elements of Andrew Gosden’s case is how seemingly idyllic his home life had been.

Born on July 10, 1993 to Kevin and Glenys Gosden, Andrew grew up in Balby, a suburb of Doncaster, England. His parents, Anglican Christians, opted not to baptize their children. As they explained to The Telegraph in 2008, they did not want to impose their views on them.

Instead, they encouraged their children to explore their own interests and discover things in their own ways.

Young Andrew Gosden

Help Us To Find AndrewAndrew Gosden as a young child.

Andrew and his sister Charlotte became deeply invested in their own separate hobbies. Andrew enjoyed books like Harry Potter and Alex Rider. His sister dyed her hair black and leaned heavily into the mid-2000s goth scene. The two bonded over their shared love for rock and metal bands.

Andrew was also highly intelligent. In the weeks before he went missing, he had been reading Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, and he was in his school’s gifted program. Andrew was such a good student, in fact, that he had never even missed a day of school. Most of his teachers assumed he would wind up going to Cambridge.

His parents also noted that he had friends, but was rather introverted and happy in his own company. Furthermore, he never showed any signs of depression, and it didn’t seem as though he was being bullied. He had never left home without telling his parents where he was going.

By all accounts, Andrew Gosden appeared to be a shy, intelligent young man with a bright future ahead of him. So when one day he suddenly decided to skip school and book a train to London, it begged the question: Why?

The Day Andrew Gosden Disappeared

Andrew Gosden left his parents’ home on the morning of Sept. 14, 2007, presumably heading for school as he did every morning. His parents, too, left home for work — they both worked as speech therapists. When they returned, there was no sign of Andrew. At first, they assumed he was just in the basement playing Xbox.

Then, they saw his school uniform lying on a chair in his bedroom. It seemed he had come home at some point and changed clothes. So where was he?

Andrew’s parents rang some of his friends, who said that he was not with them. In fact, he hadn’t even come to school that day.

Gosden

Help Us To Find AndrewAndrew Gosden was a fan of metal and rock music and often wore T-shirts featuring his favorite bands.

As it turned out, the school had tried to contact the Gosdens earlier that day to notify them of Andrew’s absence. Unfortunately, they had called the wrong family by mistake.

The Investigation Begins

Where Andrew Gosden had gone, and what he was doing, was a complete mystery to his parents. When he left home that day, all he’d taken with him were his wallet, keys, and his PlayStation Portable. He hadn’t even taken the charger for the PlayStation.

Nothing suggested he planned on taking a long trip — perhaps other than the fact that he had withdrawn almost all of the money in his bank account, amounting to about £200.

“I was angry for a time,” Andrew’s father said in 2008. “I wanted to ask him, ‘What is so wrong with a middle-class, middle-income, emotionally supportive family that made you disappear out of the door?’ But now I just want to hug him. Our door is always open, the answerphone is always on. Just tell us you are alive.”

Andrew Gosden And A Hawk

Help Us To Find AndrewSome have theorized that Andrew Gosden may have traveled to London to meet a friend he’d met on the internet.

Weeks after Andrew went missing, police recovered CCTV footage from King’s Cross Station in London, showing that Andrew had arrived there around 11:20 on the morning of his disappearance. Investigators determined that he had purchased a one-way ticket from Doncaster to London.

After that, however, the trail went cold. Police were unable to track Andrew’s movements from King’s Cross, leaving his family clueless as to his whereabouts.

But in the years since, internet sleuths have attempted to figure out the mystery — and several intriguing theories have emerged as a result.

Theories About What Could Have Happened To Andrew Gosden

Like many missing persons cases, Andrew Gosden’s story resonated with a great many people around the world, some of whom have since come together on the r/AndrewGosden subreddit to discuss their theories surrounding his disappearance. These theories range from kidnapping and human trafficking to suicide. However, there is little evidence to support most of these claims.

According to one theory, Andrew may have traveled to London to attend a 30 Seconds to Mars concert scheduled for the evening of his disappearance. This theory stems from a photo taken of the crowd at the concert that night. Some have claimed that one of the audience members in the photo looks like Andrew.

30 Seconds To Mars Concert

RedditSomeone who looks like Andrew Gosden in the crowd at a 30 Seconds to Mars concert in London, 2007.

However, the photo isn’t the highest quality, and there could have been any number of kids at that concert who looked vaguely like Andrew Gosden, with long brown hair and glasses.

The police did consider the 30 Seconds to Mars concert theory. There had also been a signing for the metal band HIM in London around the time Andrew disappeared. Considering Andrew’s taste in music, it’s entirely possible that he’d have wanted to see either band.

Andrew’s father, however, had another theory.

“It might sound ridiculous, but Andrew being stupidly intelligent, the only thing he actually even referred to about London before he went missing was the fact that they were having a Tutankhamun exhibition at the British Museum,” his father posited to The Mirror in 2023. “He was interested.”

Others have suggested that Andrew may have gone to London to look for work experience, just as his older sister Charlotte had done when she was 14, handing out her CVs on The Strand. But with no way to track Andrew’s movements, all of these possible explanations remain little more than theories.

That seemingly changed in December 2021, when two men were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and human trafficking in connection with Andrew Gosden’s disappearance.

An Investigation Exonerates Two Men Accused Of Kidnapping

Age Progression

Missing PeopleAn age progression photo of Andrew Gosden showing what he might look like today.

Fourteen years after Andrew Gosden’s disappearance, two men, aged 38 and 45, were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and human trafficking Andrew. At the time, it seemed as if Andrew’s family might finally get some answers.

But after a lengthy, two-year investigation, London police told the BBC they were “confident the two men arrested played no part in Andrew’s disappearance.”

The announcement came in September 2023, with police noting “the investigation remains open and active.” But for Andrew’s family and those following the case, it was as if a light at the end of a tunnel had been snuffed out.

“The past months of this investigation have been a period of additional difficulty for our family, intensifying our sense of living in limbo, not knowing what happened to our much-loved son,” Andrew’s parents said at the time. “As a family, our emotional reaction is to feel that, after so much effort over the past 16 years, we remain no closer to discovering what has happened to Andrew.”

London police are still urging anyone with any information about Andrew Gosden to come forward and share what they know.


After learning about the strange disappearance of Andrew Gosden, dive into the story behind the mysterious disappearances of Brian Shaffer and Jennifer Kesse.

author
Austin Harvey
author
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
editor
Maggie Donahue
editor
Maggie Donahue is an assistant editor at All That's Interesting. She has a Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor's degree in creative writing and film studies from Johns Hopkins University. Before landing at ATI, she covered arts and culture at The A.V. Club and Colorado Public Radio and also wrote for Longreads. She is interested in stories about scientific discoveries, pop culture, the weird corners of history, unexplained phenomena, nature, and the outdoors.