Missing Eddie Gibson 'murdered for money' in Cambodia
- 29 April 2013
- From the section Sussex
The parents of a Sussex backpacker who went missing in Cambodia nine years ago say they are now convinced their son was murdered for his money.
Eddie Gibson, 19, of Hove, went missing on 24 October 2004, a week before he was due to fly back to Britain.
His family say they have evidence that he was robbed and killed in Poipet, on the border with Thailand.
"The news that he was murdered in this way has been a tremendous shock to the family," said his father Mike.
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.
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.
Four officers from the Sussex Police major crime branch unit spent 10 days in Phnom Penh, working alongside the national police, but Eddie's movements remained unknown.
His parents visited the country numerous times and engaged private investigators.
Mr Gibson said the new information came from a businessman with a military background in South East Asia who the family met through a charity set up in Eddie's name.
He said it was believed Eddie was bludgeoned to death with a shovel and robbed of £2,000 to £3,000 cash he had on him.
'Pretty well ambushed'
"The information this man had dovetailed into the information we had so we are as sure as we can be that it is correct," said Mr Gibson.
"The authorities in Cambodia have limited resources and I suppose we are lucky in a way that we met this man. At least we now know what has happened to Eddie.
"The border at Poipet is a difficult area and I think he was pretty well ambushed up there."
He said the family were going through a grieving process because, even though they knew the chances of Eddie being alive were very slim, nothing had prepared them for the news of his killing.
"It has been more shocking than we could imagine," he said.
"We will have the process of declaring Eddie dead and we want to have a memorial service for him.
"We will then revisit the charity to see how best we can either continue with it or use the funds in his name."