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Lee Boxell detectives 'close in on two persons of interest'

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Media captionLee Boxell was 15 when he disappeared

Detectives investigating the disappearance of teenager Lee Boxell 25 years ago have closed in on two "persons of interest" in their search.

Lee Boxell was last seen in the High Street in Sutton, south-west London, in September 1988 when he was aged 15.

Police fear Lee was killed after witnessing child abuse at a popular teenage hang-out in nearby Cheam.

Since renewing public appeals on Crimewatch, police have received an allegation of sexual abuse.

Callers have also come forward with information that is "very focused" on the team's current line of inquiry.

Det Insp John McQuade said: "One or two calls were very focused on things that we are already working on and are very positive for our line of inquiry. From our point of view it's proved very promising.

"We've even had a victim of an offence going back to that time who has never reported it before."

However, no one who witnessed what happened to Lee that day has come forward.

Sexual predators

Investigators are working on the theory Lee died after intervening to try to stop sexual abuse at an outbuilding in Cheam, known as "the shed".

It later emerged the shed was a target for sexual predators.

Mr McQuade said: "I think there is still somebody out there who must have been there, who saw what happened.

"People who used to go there in 1988 could be parents themselves now, who have children of Lee's age when he went missing, and we appeal to their consciences."

Police only discovered last year that Lee used to go to the shed, an outbuilding at St Dunstan's Church.

Image caption Lee Boxell would now be 40

It is now known that a number of paedophiles were operating in the area at the time.

They are looking into whether the latest allegation of sexual abuse has links to why Lee vanished.

No trace of him has been found or any indication that he is still alive, such as using a bank.

Search teams began using radar last year to look for any disturbance in the graves surrounding the shed and will continue the process in April once the weather improves.

When he disappeared, Lee was 5ft 6in (1.67m), slim with light brown hair and was wearing black jeans, a white Flintstones T-shirt and brown suede shoes.

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