Vanished rock guitarist is declared dead

Missing Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards has been declared as presumed dead, a band spokeswoman confirmed yesterday.

The Welsh musician disappeared 13 years ago, at the age of 27. Despite alleged sightings across the world, many believe Edwards, whose car was found near the Severn Bridge, took his own life.

His parents Graham and Sherry Edwards have now been granted a court order for him to be declared presumed dead, Manic Street Preachers publicist Terri Hall said today.

Edwards' father, of Blackwood, South Wales, said he did not wish to comment on the matter.

Ms Hall said the move was "hugely emotional" for remaining band members James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore.

She told the Mail on Sunday: "This is the parents' choice and the band is happy to go with what the parents decide is best.

"We all dream Richey will come back one day. You hope he is still around somewhere.

"But it is no longer a realistic hope and if this offers some kind of closure then the band will be content with that."

The band are unavailable for comment as they are currently abroad, she said.

Edwards, also a lyricist for the band, was last seen in London on February 1, 1995.

It is believed Edwards, who became notorious for carving "4 Real" into his arm to demonstrate he was a serious artist, returned to his Cardiff flat.

He then drove to the original Severn Bridge, where his car was later found.

His parents have been granted control of his £455,990 estate, the Mail on Sunday reported.

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