Police have issued an update on the Claudia Lawrence inquiry, as the 13th anniversary of her disappearance approaches.
Claudia was last seen and heard from on 18 March 2009, prompting the largest and most complex missing person inquiry in North Yorkshire Police history.
Later the police reclassified it as a murder investigation.
But despite two separate inquiries, and a comprehensive review, involving hundreds of police personnel and national experts, no trace has ever been found of the missing University of York chef.
In January 2017, police scaled back the investigation. Since then, the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Cold Case Review Team have had the responsibility for reviewing new information which may be relevant to the inquiry
“In the years that followed, we have continued to receive information about Claudia,” said Detective Superintendent Wayne Fox today, who now leads the inquiry.
“All of this has been evaluated and, when assessed as potentially viable, we have actively pursued specific new lines of enquiry – as we did at Sand Hutton last summer.”
Responding to a tip-off, police drained the lake and searched the area around the Sand Hutton gravel pits last August.
But no evidence was found of Claudia, who was 35 at the time of her disappearance.
‘Could be the key’
Det Supt Wayne Fox stressed the inquiry was not closed, but in a “reactive phase”.
“Every new piece of information or material is thoroughly assessed for investigative value and tested against the significant amounts of material which have been acquired over the last 13 years,” he said.
“I hope that the nature and scale of activity undertaken in August last year demonstrates that we continue in our efforts to thoroughly investigate any line of enquiry which is deemed pursuable, and, despite the passage of time, we remain determined to provide the answers that Claudia’s mother, sister and her many friends so desperately need and deserve.”
Det Supt Fox added:
I am extremely grateful to those members of the public who have provided information, and I repeat my appeals to anyone else who may have information which is relevant to Claudia’s disappearance to share that information with us.
Although it is 13 years since Claudia disappeared, I still firmly believe that the public have a vital part to play in supporting our efforts.
Given the sheer amount of material acquired, and the number of enquiry lines pursued, it may be the case that what could appear to be insignificant, could actually be the key to finally resolving this inquiry.
If you have any information that could assist the investigation, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and pass details to the Force Control Room quoting “Claudia Lawrence”.
If you would prefer to remain anonymous, please pass information to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting “Claudia Lawrence, North Yorkshire Police”. A report can also be made online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.