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Three men bailed in Claudia probe

Published 23/04/2015

Claudia Lawrence has not been seen since 2009
Claudia Lawrence has not been seen since 2009

Three men arrested on suspicion of the murder of missing chef Claudia Lawrence have been released on bail, police said.

The men, who are in their 50s and from the York area, were arrested yesterday.

Miss Lawrence, who was 35 when she disappeared, was last seen on March 18, 2009.

She was reported missing by her father, Peter, after concerns were raised when she failed to turn up for her 6am shift at a University of York kitchen.

A York man in his 50s, who was arrested on suspicion of Miss Lawrence's murder in March, remains on police bail.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Although they have been released from custody, proceedings in this case - as they relate to them - remain active."

Police and forensic officers have been working at three houses not far from where Miss Lawrence lived in the Heworth area of York before she went missing six years ago.

It is understood the three men have not been arrested before.

Police have said they believe Miss Lawrence was murdered although no body has ever been discovered.

After years of detectives finding no significant leads, North Yorkshire Police decided to review the case in 2013 following the formation of a new major crime unit.

Since then, a team has carried out a number of searches, including a detailed re-examination of Miss Lawrence's home, in the Heworth area of York, and a fingertip search of an alleyway that leads to the rear of the house.

They have also issued previously unseen CCTV footage of two people walking near the house.

The officer leading the new inquiry, Det Supt Dai Malyn, issued a warning earlier this year that he believed people were lying to him and he would take action against them.

The new arrests, and the arrest in March, are understood to be linked to these new lines of inquiry.

A 60-year-old man was arrested last year in connection with her disappearance and suspected murder but was later released without charge.

And a 47-year-old man arrested last July on suspicion of perverting the course of justice has also been released with no further action taken.

Mr Malyn again urged people not to identify the arrested men to prevent the investigation being "compromised or potentially damaged in any way".

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