Claudia Lawrence has been missing for more than six years. However, police have arrested a 50-year-old man on suspicion of murdering the young woman.
Miss Lawrence’s father, Peter Lawrence, reported his 35-year-old daughter missing on March 19, 2009. Claudia was last seen leaving her work as a chef the day before, but when she didn’t show up for work the following morning at York University, her father contacted police and reported her missing.
Six years ago, on April 24, 2009, the Guardian reported detectives viewed Claudia’s disappearance as a possible homicide. At that time, investigators suspected a man near her home had something to do with her disappearance.
On Monday, after six years of investigating Claudia Lawrence’s disappearance, North Yorkshire police arrested a suspect on suspicion of murder. Police have requested to withhold the name of the suspect for investigative and legal reasons.
North Yorkshire Police Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn is the senior investigating officer in Claudia Lawrence’s case.
Malyn told the Guardian reasons why the suspect’s name is being withheld.
“To ensure the investigation and legal process are not compromised or potentially damaged in any way during this critical phase in seeking the truth about Claudia’s disappearance, North Yorkshire police strongly advises the media and members of the public against identifying the man who has been arrested.”
Claudia Lawrence’s family has been notified of the arrest.
Having heard of a suspect being apprehended, Claudia’s father offered this response to Sky News.
“It is encouraging to know that following all the media activity over the last three weeks from Claudia’s 41st birthday to the sixth anniversary of her being missing, North Yorkshire police continue to be active in seeking answers as to what has happened to Claudia.”
Peter Lawrence added the following comment.
“It is to be hoped that the matter can be resolved as soon as possible and I encourage people to continue to come forward with information to the police by phoning them on 101.”
In 2003, police enhanced their investigation of Claudia’s disappearance. They combed for clues in the area around Miss Lawrence’s home.
In addition, police checked for fingerprints in the alleyway and surrounding Heworth area of York located in close proximity to her home.
On the night Claudia Lawrence went missing, police were able to uncover CCTV footage showing two individuals walking near Claudia’s home.
Last week was the anniversary of Claudia Lawrence’s disappearance. The last time Claudia’s father spoke to her was on the telephone.
The Guardian shared Peter Lawrence’s thoughts concerning his daughter’s disappearance.
“To have had six years without her company, without her chat, her smile, her laugh, meeting her for a drink, days out and meals out – it tells. I just miss that companionship, that love, so much that it just really hurts so much. It galls me that someone out there knows what happened to Claudia but has not said anything. All we can hope is that we find out what happened to Claudia. If she was murdered, as the police believe, then I want to be able to bury her.”
[Featured image courtesy of Nigel Roddis/Getty Images]