Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Missing Claudia’s father in poster appeal for help

The father of missing university chef Claudia Lawrence walked part of her route to work yesterday, handing out posters appealing for the public’s help to find his daughter.

Peter Lawrence visited a parade of shops in Melrosegate, on the outskirts of York, with family friend Martin Dales and handed out flyers to businesses and members of the public.

Solicitor Mr Lawrence took to the streets a day after he made an emotional appeal for help to find his daughter as detectives said they could not rule out the possibility she had been abducted.

Miss Lawrence (35), of Heworth Road, York, was last seen on Wednesday afternoon at the University of York’s Goodricke College and later spoke to her parents on the phone.

North Yorkshire Police believe Miss Lawrence disappeared at around 5.30am the next morning after she left home to walk three miles to her job as a chef at the college.

Miss Lawrence took no money, no bank cards or her passport and her family said her disappearance is out of character.

On Monday Mr Lawrence said the family was trapped in a “living nightmare” as he appealed for his daughter’s safe return at a news conference.

Yesterday, he said he was planning to spend some time walking around the area Miss Lawrence would have travelled on her way to work on the morning she vanished.

His A4 sized posters featured a picture of his daughter and the words: “Have you seen her?”

There was also a police telephone number for the public to call.

A clearly emotional Mr Lawrence said he was handing out the posters to keep the missing person inquiry in the public eye.

He said: “There is no reason for Claudia to be missing. She had no reason to go, no problems, no troubles.

“It appears from everything at the house as though she had set off for work with her little rucksack and left all the things at her home that she would leave if she was going to work, like bank cards, jewellery and everything else.

“She tends to leave very early in the morning. There wouldn’t be many people around but the more we can get this on national and regional and local news in an ordered way then people may suddenly have their memories jogged.

“It’s hellish difficult for me to do this but it has got to be done.

“I’m doing it because it needs to get out there.

“I don’t want to do it. It’s not something I want to do.”

Asked how he was coping, he said: “I don’t know. I don’t always have the strength.”

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Detective Chief Inspector Lucy Pope said she was keeping an open mind about Miss Lawrence’s disappearance.

But she added: “It’s certainly a possibility that an abduction could be involved but I have got nothing to suggest that.

“She may have decided that she’s had enough of living around here and gone away of her own free will but I have to keep an open mind that there might be some criminal activity involved.”

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