Detectives investigate new lines of inquiry in Claudia Lawrence murder investigation 12 years on

The detective leading the murder inquiry into the disappearance of Malton chef Claudia Lawrence has revealed officers are still investigating new lines of inquiry 12 years after she vanished.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 10:08 am
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 8:46 am

Speaking on the anniversary of Miss Lawrence's disappearance, Detective Superintendent Wayne Fox, Head of the North Yorkshire Police's Major Investigation Team, said he believes there are still several people out there who know what happened to her.

Det Supt Fox urged those who hold vital information in the case to come forward, insisting it is not too late and that the force will still investigate new lines of inquiry.

Miss Lawrence was last seen on March 18, 2009, at around 3.05pm at the junction of Heworth Road and East Parade, walking back towards her home on Heworth Road. She was also captured on CCTV as she left Goodricke College and as she walked home.

Claudia Lawrence. Photo provided by North Yorkshire Police

Miss Lawrence spoke to both her parents that evening over the telephone and was said to be in good spirits.

Her father, Peter Lawrence, reported her missing on March 20, after no one had heard from her and she failed to turn up for her 6am shift the previous day.

Police have conducted what they describe as two "extensive and exhaustive" investigations in an attempt to find Miss Lawrence, taking thousands of statements, trawling through hours and hours of CCTV footage and pursuing numerous lines of enquiry in Yorkshire, in other parts of the UK and overseas.

The force has also worked with the National Crime Agency and the FBI.

Det Supt Fox said: "Today, on the 12th anniversary of her disappearance, our hearts go out to Claudia's loved ones; they have endured unrelenting anguish and trauma throughout this time. I want to express our sympathy and on-going support to Claudia's mother Joan, to her sister Ali, and to her many good friends. It is deeply sad that Claudia’s father Peter died just a few weeks ago, never knowing what happened to his daughter.

"In my view, there are likely to be several people out there who either know or have strong suspicions as to what happened to Claudia. For whatever reason, they have maintained a silence for 12 years. That is an awfully long time to carry such a burden of guilt. The longer you carry it, the greater the anguish you are causing to Claudia's family and friends. Please do the right thing, come forward and speak to me.

"Some of this can be quickly discounted because of enquiries we have already made; but at other times, we receive information - sometimes anonymously - that appears extremely interesting and sparks a whole new line of investigation.

"To the people providing this type of information, I urge you to get back in touch with as much detail as you know.

"If you know something that could help us find Claudia, or those involved in her disappearance and suspected murder, please come forward. It is not too late.

"I, and my team, are ready to pursue any positive and significant new line of enquiry that is brought to our attention."

Anyone with information is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.