Lee Boxell's parents have spoken about the grim developments in their unending  24 year search for their missing son. 

His bedroom has remained unchanged for 25 years and although Lee Boxell’s parents are pained to admit it, they are now accepting he could have been murdered.

Peter and Christine Boxell celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary this week, and they still had hope their Lee would walk through the door, but they are expecting the worst.

Peter Boxell, 65, said: “After all this time to think about it, at first I thought he was just missing, but now I think he has been murdered. We don’t want to think it, but, you know.”

Christine Boxell, 70, said she will always feel guilt for not ringing Lee that fateful afternoon in September 1988.

She said: “I had to go and visit my mother because she wasn’t well. I was just about to ring Lee but the bus came and I got on it. This was the days before mobile phones, but Lee always found a phone box to ring me and let me know he was OK.”

It was believed Lee was on his way to a Crystal Palace football match, but nobody reported seeing him, so the search for him returned to the area he grew up in.

The couple say they have not begun the grieving process, despite not seeing their son for 24 years. They said: “We hope it won’t come to that, but we need to know what happened. If the worst has happened, we need to have a funeral for him.”