Significant new lead in Claudia Lawrence inquiry

A colleague of Claudia Lawrence’s has come forward this week with a significant new lead in the investigation

A colleague of Claudia Lawrence’s came forward this week with a significant new lead in the investigation.

Police were told that Miss Lawrence had been out with a boyfriend until about 5am on Tuesday 17 March.

Officers have also revealed for the first time that Miss Lawrence was not entirely single at the time of her disappearance, and was in a casual relationship with a man from York. Police are now investigating whether the casual boyfriend was the same man she was out with on 17 March.

It is believed unlikely that this is the case and the police are still waiting to hear from people who were out with Miss Lawrence on the Tuesday night.

Detective Superintendent Ray Galloway said that Miss Lawrence’s colleague had decided to give the police this information after watching the recent appeal on BBC’s Crimewatch.

He said: “He is a person known to the investigation from the outset. It is information he has decided to impart today. I don’t criticise him but I would be a liar if I said I didn’t find it very frustrating.

“He had been reviewing how he could help the investigation on the first anniversary and he remembered this piece of information.”

He added that it was “absolutely critical” that the police find this person.

Suzy Cooper, Miss Lawrence’s best friend, said that she didn’t know about the boyfriend that Miss Lawrence was out with until the early hours of the morning, two days before she disappeared.

She said: “If this happened a couple of days before she went missing then that is really significant, and I find it quite hard to believe that this colleague has waited until exactly a year after she’s missing to tell the police about this conversation.

“We know people’s memories can be jogged by certain things, but something as crucial as that? I’m quite sceptical. I can’t say it didn’t happen, but from what I know about Claudia it is highly unlikely.”

Miss Cooper also said she also found it hard to believe that Miss Lawrence would have been out until nearly 5am on March 17, when her shift at the University’s Roger Kirk Centre canteen began at 6am.

“If she came out on a night when she was on an early shift the following morning she would always be looking at the clock at 11pm and moaning that she was going to be so tired the next day.

“I’m not discrediting what the police have said, but at the same time my initial reaction is that it just doesn’t add up. It’s all a bit far-fetched.”

Miss Cooper said she was also confused by this week’s revelation that police knew Miss Lawrence to have been in a casual relationship with a man from York.

She said: “I didn’t know Claudia was seeing someone casually. I thought I knew everything about her, and then I found out that I didn’t.

“That is hard for me to accept, but now I’ve thought about it in realistic terms, it’s not actually that unusual. She didn’t have to tell me everything.”

Miss Cooper admitted that her friend had been in relationships with married men in the past, but insisted she was not a “scarlet woman”.

Peter Lawrence, the father of Miss Lawrence, has said that this information regarding his daughter’s disappearance has come out “far too late”.

He said: “It’s unbelievable… that someone who has previously been interviewed by the police has suddenly remembered that he had a conversation with Claudia the day before she disappeared.

“First of all, that in itself is unbelievable, and secondly, the fact that Claudia – who was always tired with her very physical job and with her early shifts and went to bed at 9.30 at night by the latest during the week – apparently said she was up until about 4.30 in the morning.”

If you have information to help the investigation, phone North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 247 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

14 comments

  1. Who is Miss Dodd?

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  2. proof-read fail.

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  3. that colleague only coming forward now is really shocking, her poor dad must be gutted that they didn’t come forward sooner. :(

    hope she’s found safe though. x

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  4. Twelve months on and police still can’t release all the information. If all parties had got together in the first month then Claudia might have been found. No we can’t do that, lets use propaganda and psychology and pretend it is safe. When the next young woman gets raped or abducted or murdered or just goes missing then there will be better evidence to go on. Until then lets wait and see and pretend Yorks safe and the University grounds are somehow exempt from the outside world. York keystone cops are waiting for someone to tell them who did it and hand themself in. Some are finding it hard to understand that Claudia’s case is suspected murder. Claudia was on University Road on the 19th of March and the police don’t want to confirm that. I believe you should be aware and take precautions to avoid another event in and around the University. Messages of support for the Lawrence family on link in comment.

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  5. Re – The Equalizer.

    “When the next young woman gets raped or abducted or murdered or just goes missing then there will be better evidence to go on”

    Only women can get raped, abducted or murdered = Nailed on fact.

    York is probably one of the safest cities in the UK, if you can’t handle it here then you should fuck off back to the sleepy suburb you probably come from.

    If someone is meticulous enough they can get away with a henious crime like murder or abduction, there is very little that the police can do in some cases. Hundreds of people going missing each year (not just women!) it is a fact of life.

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  6. I sort of find the equilizer’s comment a bit ridiculous?

    “Claudia might have been found. No we can’t do that, lets use propaganda and psychology and pretend it is safe.”

    NO ONE IS PRETENDING IT’S SAFE? If anything this has seriously raised awareness of the potential dangers out there. I’m a first year, naive and content at my new uni. When I first came here I’d wander across campus alone at 2am, I’d walk back to my room at 3-4am, I’d talk on the phone walking in the dark etcetc. Because to me, york uni seemed like a perfect bubble where nothing happens (I come from south east london before any one accuses me of being from bedfordshire’s lovely meadows and cottages)

    Then I watched claudia lawrence’s feature in crime watch about..3 weeks ago? I have totally reconsidered everything. I feel uneasy around campus knowing that something this..creepy and unusual can happen here? An unsolved missing person’s is a horrible thing to happen, and I really don’t think that any one is trying to brush it under the carpet. if they were- why are there campaign posters everywhere? why are the uni allowing access for their recreations to be filmed? why is the campaign still very much alive?

    Also by saying that the claudia lawrence case will some how contribute as evidence towards other murder/rape cases..it implies she’s been raped and murdered? how do you know this? she could have run away, she could be dead, she could have been raped. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST ANYTHING, seriously do not imply that there is some monster loose in york ready to get any one. this is an extremely rare one-off case, which makes it all the more devastating for the family.

    I hope mr. lawrence is ok, and the same for claudia. you’re an amazing dad and an amazing person for doing this xxx

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  7. No, it’s not a one-off. Lisette Dugmore disappeared in York in a
    similar way not long before. (Her case rarely gets mentioned, and
    so hardly anyone – as shown above – even knows about it.)

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  8. SEX

    Between the ages of 13 and 17 years, girls are more likely to be reported missing than boys. 71 per cent of 13-17 year olds reported missing to Missing People (1999-2000) were female. (Biehal et al, 2003: 10)

    At older ages, this pattern is reversed. Over the age of 24 years, men are much more likely to be reported missing than women. 73 per cent of people aged over 24 reported missing to Missing People (1999-2000) were male. (Biehal et al, 2003: 10).

    The total number of missing person reports each year is likely fall in the range of 210,000 to 230,000 in any one year.

    All da police is fault innit :(

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  9. i googled her, and the sixth result linked me back to your nouse comment, so clearly the case isn’t as massive as claudia’s :/ which is a shame, as they’re both missing young women..

    strange strange strange. but nonetheless, no one is trying to cover up how serious this case is or trying to physicologically fool us into believing we’re perfectly safe at york uni!

    and two women going missing- doesn’t necessarily mean it’s by the same girl/woman/group of people does it?!

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  10. the alleyway in halifax behind ingram and lindley courts, a lot of students use it to go to the charles..

    how eery! :(

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  11. My comments seem to have upset or offended at least two people and for that I apologise. So for those of you who are hard of reading and for those who understood and get the message I will confirm what I thought was straight forward.

    The Claudia Lawrence case is classified as suspected murder and I sure there are some who believe she is a missing person. Information about this case should be relayed by North Yorkshire Police to the public and should be accurate and released as soon as possible. Often crimes like this can be solved quickly and prevent future crimes been committed and allow the public to be aware. No one wants the Peter William Sutcliffe’s or the Steven Gerald James Wrights to terrorise or traumatise our society. Informing the public will heighten our senses to the risks and reduce our exposure.

    We put our faith in people to protect and watch over our welfare so we never need to worry. We expect Utopia but know that it is never going to happen. MPs and Councillors and Police forces are been less than open or honest which leads to mistrust and outrage when the truth finally comes to light .My expectations are simple openness and honesty; where this is lacking I equalise it by supplying the information to allow fair representation.

    Re— dbthetruth

    I don’t need the numbers you pasted for the Missing site as they are estimated numbers based on reported missing persons. Your first reply throws insults and guesses which are all probably probably probably wrong. If dat be the truth then I am a monkey’s Uncle Sam. I know men can get raped but if you look at subject of this article then maybe you would not be so confused. If it looks like a troll sound like a troll and talks like a troll then it is probably a troll. Even if you are a troll then your opinion is valid and you are entitled to it.

    I see you have took up the York is the safest place in the UK chant, so I would like you to think about that. How many dangerous people are there in UK and where exactly are they at this moment in time. Can they move around the UK looking for easy targets and commit crimes undetected? You won’t find the numbers you are looking for because the results are almost impossible to produce. So why is York safer; is it because the numbers collected are lower than somewhere else. Change the numbers and everything looks ok. Plenty of money in the banks, no debts, no crime and Utopia here we come.

    Re—anon on March 23, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    The posters of Claudia are the Lawrence family desire to find Claudia alive while the police search lakes and fields in their suspected murder case. You mention you have heightened your awareness to the dangers. You are right to avoid unnecessary risks without dwelling too much on the details. You said no one is pretending its safe and there is no evidence to suggest anything; both statements are incorrect as there is evidence to support a suspected murder investigation and someone is failing to make the details clear to the general public. I am not suggesting there is a monster on the loose because there are thousands of them and no system in place to account for where they are. If we are kept in the dark and only told good news we might form opinions that Utopia is all ready here. So take care and take a minute to visit the link on my name to leave a message of support for the Lawrence family.

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  12. don’t patronise me, hard of reading? are you serious?!

    “Informing the public will heighten our senses to the risks and reduce our exposure.”

    I don’t think that they need to inform us any more than to say..there is a missing chef, we have no idea where she went, it could possibly be murder. There is a LOT of awareness- around campus, in our student papers, in ‘real world’ papers, on the news, I know that every time my mum calls me she talks about it and tells me not to go out alone etc, and we live about 200 miles away from where it happened?

    Releasing more detailed information could compromise her case; which is counter productive. I don’t understand how our senses could be more risen? It’s simple, don’t walk about late at night/early in the morning alone, always make sure some one knows where you are going to be, regularly contact close friends/family so the alarm bells can be risen as early as possible if you DO go missing. I mean what else do you want? Claudia was missing and was wearing a backpack, so should all york uni students STOP wearing back packs because it was some how related to her victimisation? Stop walking down university road? Don’t leave the house at 5am? I think you’re sort of ridiculous saying at how we need to know more info to protect us? It’s common sense, just be more careful given the current situation(s).

    “suspected murder investigation and someone is failing to make the details clear to the general public. ”

    It’s police procedure to not leak all information on potential murder cases (I’m related to a senior met officer who told me this, btw, rather than your sidewalk policing which I love! ;)). Even when the murderer has been caught, not all information is released, because tbh the public don’t need to hear some things and especially on a campus like ours it could cause mass hysteria to discover some controversial case details (say, if she was being watched/followed across campus in the leading months, or if the person was also an employee at the university of york, that type of stuff you know?) and it’s just counter productive. Sometimes ignorance IS bliss, we have to acknowledge that that’s how our police force/government treat us as citizens.

    Also, we don’t need to know. We know that she’s missing, we know under what weird circumstances it was under, that’s ALL we need to know. What else could we benefit from it? Tbh in a way it’s good, it’s made us all more aware. I mean if we knew a murderer was running around in a black binliner + a white van, we’d all be scared shitless of those two items. But if we know that a potential murder has occurred, and it reminds us that York isn’t the ‘safest little bubble in the UK’ then in some sort of sick, demented way, it’s a good reminder. Making students aware of their personal safety, making us more alert, and sort of scaring us is a good thing- even though it’s under disgusting and unfortunate circumstances. I mean the disappearance is far from good, I hope she’s found safely, but at least by the student population changing their actions and habits we can try to make sure nothing like this will happen again.

    **I’m aware I’ve made it sound at times like she’s definitely gone forever etc but that’s more to do with not wanting to sound illiterate constantly dropping it in than genuinely thinking she is. There’s always hope! :)**

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  13. I don’t think that Claudia Lawrences abduction had anything to do with all the suspected drowning deaths . All. The river drownings ,or suspected seem to be the work of another nutcase. You can have heart failure from the shoc. Of cold water. If. You are pushed-in and you die , isn’t that murder?k

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