Timeline: How the decade after Claudia’s disappearance unfolded

18 Mar 2019 @ 8.10 am
| Crime, News

Today (18 March) marks the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of York University chef Claudia Lawrence. Here is a timeline of the key events and the subsequent investigation into her disappearance.


March 18 – Miss Lawrence speaks with her parents over the phone and, at 8.23pm, sends her friend a text. She has not been seen or heard from since.

March 20 – Miss Lawrence’s father, Peter, contacts North Yorkshire Police after his daughter fails to keep an arrangement to meet a friend at the Nags Head pub. She also fails to attend work.

March 23 – Mr Lawrence describes his daughter’s disappearance as a “living nightmare” during a news conference in York.

April 24 – Detectives say that Miss Lawrence’s disappearance is being treated as a suspected murder investigation. A £10,000 reward is offered for information that could lead to the conviction of those responsible.

North Yorkshire Police searching a field in the Outgang area of York, close to the university, as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Claudia Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire


May 6 – Mr Lawrence calls for an urgent independent inquiry into the police investigation of his daughter’s disappearance and suspected murder.

July 29 – Police confirm they are reducing the number of officers dedicated to the inquiry into Miss Lawrence’s disappearance.


October 29 – A new forensic search of Miss Lawrence’s home is announced as police launch a fresh review of the case.


March 19 – Five years on from Miss Lawrence’s disappearance, officers discover at her home the fingerprints of people who have still not come forward to the investigation.

May 13 – A 59-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of murder. He is released on police bail and eventually released without charge on November 17 2014.


March 23 – A man in his 50s is arrested on suspicion of murdering Miss Lawrence and is released on police bail the following day.

April 22 – Three more men, all in their 50s and from the York area, are arrested on suspicion of murder and are released on bail.

September 17 – A file of evidence on four men arrested on suspicion of murder is sent by North Yorkshire Police to the Crown Prosecution service (CPS) so it can consider whether to bring charges.

Claudia’s father Peter Lawrence. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire


March 8 – Police say the CPS has decided the four men will not face charges.


January 17 – Mr Lawrence says he is “hugely depressed and disappointed” as the investigation into his daughter’s disappearance is scaled down.


March – Nearly a decade on from her disappearance, Miss Lawrence has still not been found. Her father says in an interview with the Press Association that “it’s very difficult” to conceive of her still being alive.

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