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Court Declares Manic Street Preacher Dead - South Wales Argus, 23rd November 2008

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Title: Court Declares Manic Street Preacher Dead
Publication: South Wales Argus
Date: Sunday 23rd November 2008

Missing Manic Street Preacher Richey Edwards is now officially presumed dead, almost 14 years since he disappeared, following legal moves by his parents .

Graham and Sherry Edwards, from Blackwood, have been granted a court order on the issue, the Manics' publicist confirmed today.

It is also understood that in a separate move, they have been granted control of their son's estate of more than £450,000.

The move is "hugely emotional" for the band's remaining members James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore, according to the Manics' publicist Terri Hall, but the trio have been happy to go along with the wishes of Edwards' parents.

The guitarist vanished, aged 27, on February 1 1995, on the eve of a US tour. The last official sighting was at London's Embassy Hotel, though it is believed he then drove back to his Cardiff flat. His car was discovered more than two weeks later at the then Aust service station on the English side of the Severn Bridge.

Some believe that Edwards took his own life, despite the mysterious circumstances of his disappearance after battles against depression and anorexia, and subsequent alleged sightings around the world.

Presumption of death proceedings could have been started in 2002, seven years after Edwards' disappearance but his family, which did not wish to comment on the matter, has delayed acting on these formalities until now.

The band continues to reserve a share of its royalties for him and Nicky Wire admitted to music paper NME recently that some aspects of Edwards' disappearance "don't add up."

The band revealed last month that they are working on an album, due for release next spring, using lyrics left by Edwards.

Ms Hall said it is no longer a "realistic hope" that he remains alive and "if this offers some kind of closure then the band will be content with that. "We all dream Richey will come back one day. You hope he is still around somewhere," she said.

The band, currently abroad, is unavailable for comment.