Police say missing schoolboy is 'most likely' dead
Police have stopped looking for a schoolboy who disappeared more than nine years ago after concluding he is now probably dead.
Robert Williams, 15, of Resolven, near Neath, South Wales, has been missing from home since March 2002.
His devastated mother has now been told by police that her son "most likely" died some time over the last nine years.
She made a last desperate plea today for anyone with any information about her son's disappearance to come forward.
Failure to find him follows the conclusion of a year-long case review and exhaustive missing person investigation.
It included an age progression photograph created for the police to highlight how Robert might look today aged 24.
"Over the past year we have revisited all potential lines of inquiry, over 100 further witness statements have been taken and we have also carried out extensive proof of life inquiries which have all proved negative," said Detective Inspector Mark Lewis, of the South Wales Police Specialist Crime Investigation Team.
"In addition we have searched the national fingerprint and DNA databases, checking medical records and contacting a large number of organisations in the hope that Robert may have been linked to them since his disappearance.
"As a result of these inquiries there is tragically no evidence that Robert Williams is alive and I have now informed Robert's family that the most likely outcome is that Robert has died some time over the past nine years."
He added: "Robert's mother Cheryl is naturally devastated by this news and is asking through this media appeal for anyone with information about Robert's disappearance and likely death to come forward and provide any information they know.
"Every day since Robert's disappearance has been a struggle and traumatic for Cheryl and her family. She is pleading with the public to help provide her with closure and end this nightmare that she has had to endure for over nine years.
"All outstanding missing person cases remain open and if any new evidence came to light then we would fully investigate it."
South Wales Police can be contacted on 01792 562 732 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...