Parents refuse to declare star dead

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One of rock music's great mysteries – the disappearance of the Manic Street Preachers' Richey Edwards – was given a further twist yesterday when his family refused a legal right to declare him dead.

Many believe that Edwards, who was prone to depression and eccentric behaviour, may have committed suicide. But since his disappearance on 1 February 1995 his family and fans have not given up hope.

By law, after seven years relatives are allowed to have a missing person declared dead, but Edwards' parents, Sherry and Graham, do not want to do that. Nor do they wish to apply for his estate, which would now run into millions from royalties.

A statement from the band's managers, Hall or Nothing, said: "For the family of Richey Edwards and the members of the Manic Street Preachers nothing has changed. Richey is still missing and we still miss him very much."

Edwards disappeared the day before the band were due to start a US tour. Two weeks later his car was found abandoned near the Severn Bridge.