Last month News Shopper ran an appeal for information to find a schoolboy who went missing 25 years ago. DAVID MILLS spoke to charity Missing People about keeping the search alive.

At 8.40pm on March 2 in 1986, Kevin Hicks, aged 16, popped out to the corner shop to buy some eggs for a cookery exam he was due to take the next day.

He never came home and his disappearance left his family baffled.

His parents Terry and Derek have since died, leaving Kevin’s grandmother Dorothy to carry on the search.

The 89-year-old, of Sycamore Close, Mottingham, says it is her dying wish to find out what happened to her grandson.

News Shopper: Keeping search alive for schoolboy who went missing 25 years ago

Missing People offers a lineline for people who go missing, providing specialised support to ease the heartache and confusion felt by families and loved ones left behind and to help the search for those missing.

The charity's director of services, Jo Youle, told News Shopper the case is “more unusual” given the length of time Kevin has been missing and that keeping it in the media spotlight is crucial.

Ms Youle said: “It’s hugely concerning and absolutely horrendous for families trying to cope with this situation.

“Keeping the search alive is absolutely key.

“For a family to think their son’s been forgotten is more horrendous. There’s always an element of hope they will come back.”

She added: “Having someone missing for so long, families say it gets harder with time.

“It’s about coping with having no answers.

“It’s human nature to want answers and explanations. We recognise that with families and support them.

“It’s about being there for them, being there at 4am. We campaign as an organisation because we feel not enough is being done for families.

“If your house is burgled, you’re automatically offered help and legal support.

“But if your child goes missing there’s nothing at all. We feel that’s an injustice.”

Anyone with any information about Kevin’s disappearance should call Missing People on 0500 700 700.

The charity is currently collecting messages of support for families of missing people on its wall of reminders page at


Kevin lived in Sissinghurst Road, Addiscombe.

He left home on a cold night wearing only jeans and a t-shirt to go to Lower Addiscombe Road’s 7-Eleven.

Kevin, who would now be 41, was a happy teenager with no problems at school.

He had applied for jobs which he was offered interviews for after he had gone missing.

News Shopper: Keeping search alive for schoolboy who went missing 25 years ago

A police investigation, door-to-door enquiries and an appeal on Crimewatch failed to generate any solid leads leaving his family clueless as to what had happened to him.

CCTV from the shop was not working and staff could not remember seeing Kevin.

In a fresh appeal last month, his grandmother Dorothy said the last 25 years had been “dreadful”.

She said: “You just can’t put it out of your mind.

“God forbid if anything had happened, but it’s better to know than not to know.”


250,000 people go missing in the UK each year, 140,000 are children and young people.

99 per cent of cases are resolved within a year and three quarters of people are found within 48 hours.

1 in 100 will stay missing for longer than one year.

114,000 callers used Missing People last year.

39,500 people visited the charity’s website each month last year.

455 families across the UK were directly reconnected with a missing loved one by Missing People last year, countless more indirectly.