Richey Edwards’ sister recalls family strife on 20th anniversary of disappearance

Manic Street Preachers member vanished on this day in 1995

The sister of Manic Street Preachers‘ Richey Edwards, who vanished 20 years ago today (February 1) has spoken of the difficulties she and her family have been through in the past two decades.

Rachel Elias spoke to BBC News on the anniversary of her brother’s disappearance. Edwards was last seen in London on January 31 1995. However, on February 1 he checked out of the hotel he and bandmate James Dean Bradfield were staying in and drove back to Wales. His car was found abandoned near the Severn Bridge.

In the past 20 years, Edwards father Graham has also passed away. Elias says that not knowing the truth about his son made his final days distressing: “It was difficult because he [Graham] had to face up to that realisation – that we all may have to – we may not find out what happened to Richard. It was obviously difficult for my father,” she said.

Though no trace of Edwards was ever found, he was declared legally dead in 2008. “Going through his bereavement, I recognised the difference between that and someone who is missing,” added Elias. “When someone dies you have that acute loss. It sounds like a cliche, that bereavement is a process – but it really is. But when someone goes missing you are left with this ongoing uncertainty. Not knowing makes it worse.”

In December last year, the Manic Street Preachers played a series of gigs in which they celebrated the 20th anniversary of their seminal 1994 album ‘The Holy Bible’ by performing it in full. The album was the last they released while Edwards was still a member of the group.