Claudia: reward money is withdrawn

Claudia Lawrence
Claudia Lawrence
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A £10,000 reward for information about Claudia Lawrence who went missing nearly two years ago is no longer on offer.

Crimestoppers initially offered the reward in April 2009 but, after giving “unprecedented support,” has decided to use the money to help other cases around the country.

The charity made the decision on New Year’s Day when the reward expired after its fourth renewal to help find the Malton chef.

The news has disappointed mum Joan Lawrence, who is making television appearances today and later in the week to speak about Claudia’s disappearance from her home in York on March 18, 2009.

“I’m very disappointed but we have got to find another way to get someone to come forward,” she said. “I don’t know what the answer is. As her mum, I can’t think of any more deserving case than this one and I wish they could reconsider it but I do understand their difficulty. There are only so many pennies in the pot.”

And Martin Dales, the spokesman and friend of Claudia’s dad, Peter Lawrence, said: “Times are hard, charities are finding it very hard, but for some reason a £10,000 reward has not been claimed by anybody and I suppose in the circumstances, what choice do you have but to help other people?

“It’s constantly a creative exercise to think of new ways of doing things.”

Crimestoppers first issued the reward in April 2009 and continued to renew it every three months until September 2010. A request from the police led the charity to reinstate the reward from October to January, 2011.

Crimestoppers said: “On the last renewal the charity had made the decision not to grant further renewals of this reward given the high number of renewals that had previously been granted. As a national charity, Crimestoppers must carefully consider other just and deserving cases across the country and give other cases a chance of using an enhanced reward to try and get information.”

Claudia, a chef at York University, was 35 when she went missing from her home in Heworth, York, on March 18, two years ago. North Yorkshire Police launched one of the biggest operations in its history to find her with the media, both local and nationwide, giving their investigation huge publicity.

Mum Joan has no plans to mark the second anniversary of her daughter’s disappearance this weekend. Instead, she plans to spend time with her daughter, Ali, on Mothers Day.