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​New appeal as Sutton missing person case continues 31 years on

News   •   Sep 26, 2019 12:33 BST

[Missing since 1988: Lee Boxell]

New appeal as Sutton missing person case continue 31 years on

Following a Crimewatch Roadshow appeal shown today, Thursday, 26 September, detectives have made a renewed call for information into the disappearance of a teenager in the late 1980s.

Lee Boxell was 15 when he was last seen on Saturday, 10 September, 1988 and detectives believe Lee is no longer alive.

The original inquiry into Lee's disappearance, led police to believe he went to watch a football game at Selhurst Park.

The last known sighting of the teenager was in Sutton High Street at 14:20hrs, however, this would not have given him enough time to get to the football ground for kick-off at 15:00hrs.

A review of the circumstances of his disappearance later provided evidence to suggest that Lee attended an unofficial youth club in an out-building at St Dunstan's Church, Church Lane, Cheam, known locally as the 'shed'. It was a place where young people gathered to drink and smoke.

Detectives believe that Lee visited the shed on the afternoon of Saturday, 10 September, the day of the last known sighting, where he witnessed someone, probably a teenager, being sexually assaulted. It is believed that he either intervened to stop that assault or threatened to report it.

Detectives also believe that he was subjected to an assault in order to stop him from identifying and exposing the suspect, and that this assault proved fatal.

In the Metropolitan Police Service's longest ever forensic archaeological dig, a year was spent excavating St Dunstan's churchyard, but nothing was found.

Review officer John McQuade, from the Specialist Crime Review Group, said:

“I would like to appeal to that young person who was sexually assaulted to come forward.

“Your evidence would confirm Lee’s presence at the shed and help to identify his assailant.

“I believe that Lee was assaulted by one person and that they had help from one or more others to dispose of his body and/or cover up the death. I would appeal to those people to come forward and confirm this and help us to locate Lee’s body.

“I accept and wish to make it clear that it may not have been the intention to kill Lee and that your role in assisting the main attacker will be taken into account. But you have to take responsibility for your actions and face the consequences before it is too late for Lee’s family.

“Someone knows what happened to Lee and where his body is buried.”

Enquiries continue.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sutton incident room on 0208 721 4005 or Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.