Three men arrested on suspicion of murder of York college chef Claudia Lawrence
The men are in their 50s and from the York area
Detectives investigating the disappearance of York chef Claudia Lawrence have arrested three men on suspicion of murder.
Police say the men are aged in their 50s and from the York area.
Searches are being conducted which are expected to be ongoing over a number of days.
No further details relating to the arrests will be provided at this stage of the investigation.
This follows the arrest of a local man aged in his 50s on 23 March, 2015, he remains on police bail while enquiries continue.
The investigation team would like to stress that Claudia has not been found.
Claudia’s family have been notified about the arrests and are being supported by trained officers.
Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit and the senior investigating officer in the Claudia Lawrence inquiry, said: “As with the previous arrest last month, I strongly advise the media and members of the public against identifying the men who have been arrested.
“This is to ensure the investigation and legal process are not compromised or potentially damaged in any way.
“This includes naming or publishing images of the men, their home addresses, places of work, their vehicles and properties being searched on traditional media platforms or social networking sites.
“I urge everyone to again show restraint and patience while we carry out these very important enquiries. Your co-operation and support is greatly appreciated by the investigation team.”
Martin Dales, friend of Claudia’s father Peter Lawrence, said the new arrests were a positive movement in the investigation but that progress was a series of ups and downs for the family.
Meanwhile, a third house had a police van parked outside this afternoon.
Speaking outside the chef’s house, he said: “Peter finds it very hard, going up and down. You feel like you might be getting somewhere and then you get let down.
“Three arrests is certainly a big movement for the police though.
“That’s four people in the space of one month.
“The public has been tremendous in keeping information coming which has helped the police.”
Mr Dales added: “Someone is withholding the truth and that is despicable.
“Imagine if it was your daughter and you were sitting around waiting for answers and somebody, for their own skin, was trying to be obstructive.
“I hope the full force of the law comes down on them.”
Meanwhile, another house near to Claudia’s had a police van parked outside, suggesting it was being investigated.
The detached property had a police van and officer outside while people could be seen moving about inside.
A building company van was also parked outside on the house’s drive.
It is the third house showing police presence after news of the three arrests.
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and pass details to the Force Control Room. Please quote “Claudia Lawrence” when passing on details.
Alternatively, if you have any information about the Claudia Lawrence case, you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.