Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Man questioned over missing chef

A man has been questioned in relation to the disappearance of chef Claudia Lawrence

Police investigating the disappearance of university chef Claudia Lawrence have confirmed a man arrested on suspicion of a burglary in her home city has been spoken to about the case.

But a spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said the man was "one of many people spoken to during the course of the investigation" and there still have been no formal suspects identified by the inquiry team.

Miss Lawrence was 35 when she failed to turn up for work at York University in March last year.

No trace of her has been found despite a massive operation by North Yorkshire Police and a high-profile campaign by her father, Peter. Police have said they are treating her disappearance as suspected murder.

Detectives issued a statement in response to a report a new suspect had been questioned after being arrested as part of another investigation.

A spokeswoman said: "A man was arrested and charged in relation to a burglary offence in York. Due to the location and circumstances of the burglary, police officers investigating the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence spoke to him in connection with the investigation.

"He was not a formal suspect but was spoken to in a voluntary capacity, one of many people spoken to during the course of the investigation. To date there have been no formal suspects identified as part of the inquiry. No-one has been arrested or interviewed under caution in connection with Claudia's disappearance or suspected murder."

Last month North Yorkshire Police confirmed it was scaling back the number of officers dedicated to the inquiry. Assistant Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said 100 officers were dedicated to the investigation at its height.

A year after Miss Lawrence disappeared, this figure had dropped to between 20 and 30 and this figure was cut to seven officers earlier this month. The force has said the additional cost of the operation so far is about £770,000.

But Mr Madgwick said a dedicated response team and phone number will be allocated to respond to any calls received as a result of a TV documentary about Miss Lawrence which is due to be screened this week. The Channel 4 documentary Missing - The Claudia Lawrence Story is due to be screened on Friday at 7.30pm.

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