Issued by North Yorkshire Police
On the fourth anniversary of her disappearance and suspected murder, North Yorkshire Police is urging people who know what happened to Claudia Lawrence to do the right thing and contact the police or Crimestoppers.
Claudia was last seen at around 3pm on Wednesday 18 March 2009 after she had walked home from York University’s Goodricke College where she worked as a chef.
When she was reported missing on 20 March 2009, North Yorkshire Police launched what was to become one of the biggest and most intensive investigations in the force’s history.
Four years on, the force’s determination to find out what happened to Claudia has not diminished.
Detective Inspector Adrian Gathercole, the Deputy Senior Investigating Officer, said: “Claudia’s disappearance continues to capture the interest of the public and media alike. This is in no small part due to the efforts of Claudia’s family and friends who continue to work tirelessly to ensure that Claudia is not forgotten.
“We have not forgotten Claudia. We have put a tremendous amount of effort into unravelling the events of 18 and 19 March 2009. Despite many days of searching by scores of officers and Search and Rescue teams, and a large public response to the enquiry, we have yet to find her.
“Her silver Samsung D900 mobile phone and blue and grey Karrimor Spectre 10 rucksack remain unaccounted for. As with many investigations one vital piece of information could make the difference and enable us to complete the picture and finally resolve Claudia’s disappearance.
“All anniversaries and significant dates magnify the impact of her absence. Our thoughts are with her family as this milestone is reached.”
If you can help the investigation, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and pass information to the Force Control Room.
If you would prefer to remain anonymous, details can be forwarded to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
North Yorkshire Police will be marking the four years since Claudia went missing by using Twitter to promote the appeal by recalling the key times leading up to her disappearance.
Detective Superintendent Ray Galloway, the former Senior Investigating Officer in the case, retired from North Yorkshire Police in January.
He said: “I would like to pay tribute to all of the officers and staff that have worked with me on the investigation into Claudia’s disappearance. For all of us the investigation became more than a professional function, it was a personal commitment to find out who was responsible for Claudia’s disappearance, and, notwithstanding my retirement, that commitment will sustain.
“The investigation will always remain with me and I am confident that, in the future, a positive resolution will be achieved. That is my fervent wish as it will help to bring some comfort to Claudia’s family, all of whom will remain very much in my thoughts.”
The investigation will continue with the original core team of detectives and DI Gathercole as Deputy Senior Investigating Officer. It will be overseen by the Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Mason, and monitored by the Chief Officer Team.
Assistant Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: “North Yorkshire Police have a dedicated and committed workforce who are determined to find out what has happened to Claudia Lawrence. As with all cases when an officer retires or leaves the force, consistency and continuity is a priority and the plans we have in place will ensure this.
“Claudia’s immediate family have been kept informed of Mr Galloway’s retirement.”
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