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Missing: Richard (Richey) James Edwards

I am passionate about missing persons cases due to a personal family experience of having someone go missing in my family.

Richey Edwards

Richey Edwards

Details

Richard Edwards was born on December 22, 1967, and went missing on February 1st, 1995 at just 27 years old. He was 5’8 with brown eyes and dark brown hair. His ears are pierced and he has tattoos on his right arm, one is a rose. He also has the saying “4 REAL” as a scar on his arm.

Background

Richey was born to Sherry and Graham Edwards in Blackwater Wales. He has a younger sister by two years named Rachel. He was a happy child growing up and had a good childhood. He liked to play football and visit his grandma who he lovingly called “Nan”.

missing-richard-richey-james-edwards

Joining the Manic Street Preachers

Richey met the band Manic Street Preachers and at first, was just their driver and roadie but later was asked to becoming their fourth member. He became the guitarist and after a little while, he became one of the main songwriters. Richey and Nicky Wire, the bassist, became close friends and began to write songs together. It’s said Richey wrote 80% of the lyrics for the band's third album called The Holy Bible.

As the band started becoming more popular and famous, Richey began to struggle more and more with his depression, self-harming, and anorexia. Many people believe the album, The Holy Bible is a representation of his mental state at the time.

The Manic Street Preachers

The Manic Street Preachers

Before His Disappearance

In the days leading up to his disappearance, Richey’s bank records showed him taking out 200 pounds, or roughly $261 every day. This calculated to a total of 2,800 pounds or $3,656 by the time he went missing. People thought this was because of the upcoming American tour the band was going on.

On January 31st, 1995 the day before the band was set to leave for America, they checked into the Embassy hotel in London England. When Richey checked in he called his mother and spoke with her for a little bit. He expressed that he didn’t want to go to America to do a tour but she said nothing he said sounded seriously wrong.

Bandmate James Dean Bradfield and Richey spend several hours in the basement of the hotel listening to demo tapes the band had recorded. James asked him, what song is your favorite, Richey replied with “The others are ok, but Small Black Flower is the one I really like.”

All band members had their own adjacent rooms to one another and Richey was in room 561. James and Richey had plans to go out later that night to explore the area around the hotel, visit some restaurants and pubs but when James knocked Richey told him he’d changed his mind and wanted to spend a quiet night to himself.

Between the time that James left the hotel and came back to his own room, Richey had a female visitor named Vivian. Nobody knows how long she stayed with him or if the two left the hotel at any point, but she is said to be the last person to have seen Richey alive. Vivian was mentioned by the band to Richey’s sister Rachel when she was asking them about his whereabouts. Rachel has no idea who this mystery woman is or what her connection is to her brother. Vivian was never mentioned in the police reports or files, however, and it’s rumored Richey tried to give his passport to Vivian saying he wouldn’t need it anymore.

missing-richard-richey-james-edwards

Disappearance

On February 1st James waited in the hotel lobby for Richey but he never showed. After not being able to contact his bandmate he finally got the hotel staff to enter his room to make sure he was ok. When they entered they found it empty aside from a bathtub full of water and a gift box plastered with photos of cartoon characters and decaying mansions. Inside the box were photos and videos, and a note simply saying “I Love You” addressed to Richey’s ex-girlfriend Joe. After 24 hours his manager, Martin Hall, called the police and filed a missing person report for Richey Edwards. It’s said that Richey had checked out of the hotel around 7 am and drove to Wales heading back to his hometown, but none of his contacts, friends, or family had heard from him after that night.

Car Found

Two weeks later Richey’s silver Vauxhall Cavalier was found parked close to the Severn Bridge which is notorious for suicides. His car was found with a dead battery and it looked as though Richey had been living in his car for a while. Richey was nowhere to be found and nobody was ever recovered from the water or surrounding areas of the bridge.

It was believed Richey had driven across the bridge at 2:55 pm but recent new evidence suggests it may have been 2:55 am, leaving a 12-hour gap of missing time.

Richey's car

Richey's car

Sightings

Before the public knew Richey was missing, one fan claimed to have seen him at a bus station on February 5th. He said he had chatted with him for a while about a mutual friend they had.

On February 7th a cab driver said he drove a mysterious young man from Newport to Blackwood which was Richey’s hometown. The young man had requested that the cab driver avoid major roadways.

Over the years there have been numerous witness sightings of Richey Edwards spanning from Liverpool, New York, all over Wales, and even in India.

Theories

Police theorize Richey took his life on the bridge sometime between February 1st and February 17th when his car was found near the bridge. He had been suffering from depression and self-harm and it was only getting worse as the band grew more successful. He had also made it clear to his mother that he did not want to travel to America for the band's tour. While this is a strong theory, a body has never been found.

Another theory is that Richey staged his disappearance to escape from the stress of fame. Ever since Richey was young he had a fascination with disappearances. It’s said members of his family had gone missing in the past or had self-isolated themselves from their family and friends. Richey’s personal belongings including books and notebooks talked of disappearing and living a secluded lifestyle.

Severn Bridge connecting England to Wales.

Severn Bridge connecting England to Wales.

Now

As of November 2008, Richard (Richey) James Edwards was legally declared dead although his sister has never stopped looking for him. In March 2019 a book about his disappearance was written by Sara Hawys Roberts and Leon Noakes. The book was forwarded by Richey’s sister Rachel Edwards. The book is called Withdrawn Traces and covers the testimonials of his best friends, family, and the details of the investigation.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.