Sussex

Cambodia school hope for backpacker Eddie Gibson

Eddie Gibson
Image caption Eddie Gibson has not been heard from for nearly eight years

The family of a teenage backpacker who vanished in Cambodia are fundraising in an attempt to sponsor a school there in his memory.

Eddie Gibson, 19, of Hove, went missing on 24 October 2004, a week before he was due to fly back to Britain.

He was last seen in the capital Phnom Penh, but frequent appeals have revealed little.

His father Mike said the project might help to provide fresh information as to what happened to his son.

'Lasting legacy'

Mr Gibson said: "We've really got nowhere in our search for Eddie, that's why we've come up with the idea for the school.

"We're really hoping it will be in the capital where we believe he last was.

"The idea was to create a lasting legacy for him and putting something good into a bad situation.

"By keeping his name alive in Cambodia we may just get some information that can come up because of this project."

Eddie was three weeks into a combined Asian and Pacific studies and international management course at Leeds University when he decided to travel to South East Asia.

'Grim eight years'

Two weeks into his trip, his mother, Jo, received an email telling her he would be flying home from Thailand a week later - but he never arrived.

In 2007 his parents made a TV appeal in Cambodia and offered a £10,000 reward for information about his whereabouts.

Mr Gibson said Eddie's brother, stepbrother and friends had undertaken a 1,000 mile cycle ride to raise money.

He said the family were in conversations with partners in Cambodia to build the school.

"The project has boosted the family," he said. "It has been a grim eight years and it has given us something positive to get on with."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites