THE sister of Gwent rockstar Richey Edwards has spoken out, 28 years after her brother disappeared.

The Manic Street Preachers guitarist disappeared on February 1, 1995, aged 27, just before the band was due to make a promotional trip to America.

What happened to the Blackwood rock star has become one of popular music's most enduring mysteries. 

South Wales Argus: Richey has been missing for 28 yearsRichey has been missing for 28 years (Image: Archive)

Richey Edwards has been missing for 28 years

When he vanished he is thought to have been staying in the Embassy Hotel in London. His car was later found near the M48 Severn Bridge and his passport was at his home in Cardiff.

Mr Edwards - known to his family as Richard - was officially declared "presumed dead" in 2008, although he is still listed as a missing person.

His sister, Rachel Elias, has spent the past 28 years working tirelessly to support other families with missing relatives, and in 2017 appeared as a finalist on Britain’s Got Talent as a member of Missing People Choir.

Ms Elias said: “Understandably, some find the term ‘presumption of death’ upsetting, but it is necessary to wind up complex financial issues. Our father was dying, and his wish was that Richard’s estate was in order.

“At the time, it was an extremely difficult process to obtain presumption of death.”

South Wales Argus: Richey’s sister Rachel Elias Richey’s sister Rachel Elias  (Image: University of South Wales)

Richey Edwards’ sister Rachel Elias. Picture: University of South Wales 

Speaking to the Argus in 2015 Ms Elias said her family still go through a daily trauma of not knowing what happened to him.

Ms Elias learned of her brother's disappearance when her mother was called by the band's manager Martin Hall and told bandmate James Dean Bradfield had knocked on Mr Edwards' hotel door but received no answer - and the room was found to be empty.

Mr Edwards' sister the search for her brother, who suffered with depression, was made more difficult by some attitudes displayed by the police.

“I was frustrated," she said. "He was classed as a vulnerable adult. That box was ticked, but to me that wasn’t reflected in the way they searched for him."

South Wales Argus: Manic Street Preachers Performing Live At The Zap Club, Brighton 07/08/1991Manic Street Preachers Performing Live At The Zap Club, Brighton 07/08/1991 (Image: Mark Baker/Sony Music Archive/Getty Images)

Manic Street Preachers Performing Live At The Zap Club, Brighton, in August 1991. Picture: Mark Baker/Sony Music Archive/Getty Images

Ms Elias successfully campaigned to change the law so families were able to deal with their missing loved one’s financial affairs in a more simplified way.

In 2013, the ‘Presumption of Death Act’ became law, meaning the application process for the presumed declaration of death became less complex.

Ms Elias was also a key member in the formation and implementation of the National Crime Agency (NCA) UK Missing Persons Unit and is a voluntary director for the National Missing Persons Helpline in Ireland.

South Wales Argus: Copy of the Argus from 21-02-95Copy of the Argus from 21-02-95 (Image: Archive)

Copy of the Argus from February 21, 1995

She will be speaking at an international conference in Cardiff running from Wednesday, July 5, until Friday, July 7, which will explore a range of issues associated by those who are missed, those who respond to missing, and those who are affected by missing. 

To view the agenda and booking details for the conference, which is hosted by the University of South Wales, click here.