Cyprus investigations extended at six month anniversary of chef’s disappearance

The six month anniversary of York chef Claudia Lawrence’s disappearance has provoked fresh appeals for help to find her.

It has also been suggested that she could be in Cyprus, according to detectives investigating the case.

Speaking at a news conference to mark six months since Claudia was last seen, Det Supt Ray Galloway said that officers had been sent to the island to speak to people who she may have known. “The last text message that Claudia received … was from a friend in Cyprus”, he said. “It is not known whether Claudia ever opened this last text message; therefore there has always been a link to Cyprus.”

As Claudia’s passport was found at her home in Heworth after her disappearance, doubts have been expressed over this theory.

Cypriot police constable, Panayiotis Pelopida, has said that Claudia seems to be “a ghost” as there appears to be no evidence after her last sighting. Both he and DS Galloway have both said that no Cypriots are being sought in connection with her disappearance.

Peter Lawrence, Claudia’s father, has made a fresh appeal for help, saying that “all this time it has been a complete nightmare. There’s a large part of my life missing.” He has vowed to continue the campaign to find her and has said he believes her to still be alive.

Her disappearance is being treated as a murder investigation by police, despite there being no solid evidence to this end. DS Galloway said he believed that she had come to harm, as she has not been in touch with family members on special occasions, such as birthday, something out of character for sociable Claudia.

Claudia, 35, was last seen on 18th March and spoke to her parents on the phone that evening, where she was reportedly in “high spirits”. It is believed she disappeared the following morning at around 5.30am on her walk to work as a chef in Goodricke College.

Speculation has been made over her secretive private life and a reconstruction was broadcast on the BBC’s Crimewatch, but no arrests have ever been made. Student rooms were also searched over the Easter holidays, but nothing of note has believed to have been found.

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has been involved in the search, helping Claudia’s father tour the city and handing out posters appealing for information. He said that although it had been a long time since her disappearance, “hope never, ever dies”.

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