THE HEARTBROKEN family of a teenager found dead upside down in the snow have begged for answers.
Alfie Lawton, 15, was discovered unresponsive in “unexplained” circumstances near railway lines in New Malden, South London, on the coldest day of the year.
The schoolboy had been sticking to the rules in lockdown but asked his mum Sarah on February 8 if he could pop to the park with pals for a couple of hours.
He left at around 1.30pm but Sarah began to worry when he failed to respond to a text message around an hour-and-a-half later.
When he ignored another text and phone calls, which was out of character, his mum went searching for him with his sister.
After a couple of hours of silence, a friend, who had been with Alfie all day, told the family he had gone to the recreation ground.
He was tragically found beside a railway bridge in Green Lane Recreation Ground on the Surbiton-New Malden border at around 6.45pm.
The teen’s mysterious death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious, police say.
And his devastated family are desperate for answers.
His cousin Sacha told The Mirror: “We know who he was with when he died, we have established that with various witnesses.”
She said that she thought if Alfie’s friend had seen what happened and called for help that he would probably be at home now.
According to Sacha “all indications” are that he died around 5pm, when the family would usually be having tea.
A post-mortem ruled out death by drugs and suicide but it is unknow how he ended up “upside down in the snow on a bank”.
Sacha said: “It was steeper than a staircase, you need to virtually crawl to get up it.
“We were working on the basis that he had somehow fallen down the bank.
“We have heard now there is no clear sign of death, so he hasn’t fallen out of a tree.”
His cousin added that “it was the coldest day of the year”.
She said: “When he was found a paramedic was overheard saying he was 22C.
“There was a massive effort to revive him. It was bitter. It was still snowing.”
Last week his family paid tribute to the “jolly giant” and “comedian” schoolboy.
Sacha told The Sun Online: “Alfie was a joker – just a really, really funny boy.
“He loved Only Fools and Horses and could sing the theme tune word-for-word just to make people laugh.
“I haven’t found anyone yet who hasn’t said he lit up the room. I know everyone says that when someone dies but he really, really did.
“He was just such a lovely boy – so laid back and gave great bear hugs.
“Alfie was a jolly giant and he is so missed. Family, friends, teachers, youth workers and fellow teens loved to be around him and his family and friends genuinely cherished him.
“He was never in any trouble, was a total joy to be around and his death has astounded and devastated everyone who knew him.
“We have no idea how to cope with a future without Alfie and even worse, how we support his mum, dad, brother and sister with that notion.
“His parents are absolutely devastated and his brother and sister will never, ever be the same again.”
Sacha added: “We still don’t know what killed Alfie. So many horrors go through your mind but we know this wasn’t suicide.
“The community is coming forward with information and even names of people that were with him.
“We have ascertained that at least one friend knew Alfie was in a bad way and made the horrific decision to leave him alone and go home despite many opportunities presented to him to get help, including answering Alfie’s phone.
“Unfortunately that friend is not telling the police what happened to Alfie.
“Others were with the two boys and at some point over the course of the period 3pm to 5pm left them alone together.
“We are appealing to those boys and any other witnesses to please come forward.”
‘PLEASE HELP US’
The distraught family are now pleading with anyone who can shed light on Alfie’s final movements to get in touch with them or the police.
They are hoping someone saw the teen between 2pm and 7pm and may be able to help.
They are now sharing a picture of Alfie in the hope anyone will recognise him and come forward.
A statement reads: “We need everyone’s help to get answers for Alfie.
“We will not jeopardise justice for him by commenting further on information already received, except to say we know he didn’t end up in the situation he was found in alone and he didn’t take his own life.
“Information is coming in and we are so grateful for the community effort to help us get answers but we aren’t at all clear yet on how he came to die.
“We would urge anyone who knows anything and hasn’t come forward to please help us piece together Alfie’s last movements.
“We specifically need to know where he was and who he was with between 2pm and 7pm on Monday 8 February 2021.
“Alfie was found in an area frequented by dog walkers and other teenagers.
“Were your children out that day? Did they see him? Was one of your children speaking to him on the phone or via social media?
“His parents, brother, sister and wider family deserve to know everything they possibly can to help them compute their loss.
“The pain they are going through is horrific. Please help us find answers for them.”
A GoFundMe page set up to help the family has raised more than £10,000.
EU vaccine crisis ‘makes French 3rd wave inevitable’ as Germans snub jabs
OIL BE DAMNED
Warning over car sale scam as buyer caught ‘pouring oil into coolant’
Black people in England 5x more likely than white to be killed in homicide
‘HOPE IT’S WORTH IT’
Harry ‘can’t cash in’ but faces ‘ordeal’ losing titles, says Army pal
Dad, 42, GUILTY of murdering 5-month-old baby daughter by shaking her to death
Officers from the Met Police’s South West Local Investigations Team have called for anyone who was in or near the rec on the evening of Alfie’s death, or those who spoke to him in the days before he died, to get in touch.
Anyone with information that could help should call 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting ref CAD 5562/08FEB21.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.