UK & World News

  • 18 March 2014, 10:03

Claudia Lawrence: Dad's Grief On Anniversary

The father of missing York woman Claudia Lawrence says her five-year absence is "like a cancer" that "just gets worse and worse".

Peter Lawrence, speaking at a news conference to mark the fifth anniversary of his younger daughter's last known contact with anyone, appealed for people who know what happened to come forward.

The 67-year-old said he often wonders: "Where are you Claudia? Are you safe? Is someone holding you? Have you been hurt? Even, of course, are you alive?"

He added: "It's actually, I suppose, a bit like a cancer and it just gets worse and worse because there is no resolution until we know what happened to Claudia."

Ms Lawrence, 35, was reported missing after failing to turn up for her shift as a cook at the University of York on the morning of March 28, 2009.

North Yorkshire Police believe she was murdered, but a long-running investigation which focused on her relationships with men drew a blank and a new team of detectives launched a cold case review in October.

The terraced home where Claudia lived alone in the Heworth area of York has been re-examined by forensic experts, and her family and friends have been re-interviewed.

In the most personal and emotional of the many briefings Mr Lawrence has given since 2009, he made a direct appeal to whoever is responsible.

"Please, please, do realise what it is doing to us," he said. "It just eats into you like a hole and it is torture."

Mr Lawrence, a solicitor, praised the thoroughness of the new police team which is understood to have uncovered new leads.

Last week, Claudia's 70-year-old mother Joan told Sky News she believes the investigation, led by Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, will end the mystery.

"I think if they don't (solve the case), they will have tried their utmost," she said.

"They're working so hard on it. I don't think they'll give up easily."

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