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What happened to missing Uni of York chef Claudia Lawrence?

10 years later, the mystery remains unsolved

Claudia Lawrence was last seen walking towards her Melrosegate home on March 18th 2009 at 3pm, following her shift as a catering assistant at Goodricke College.

She was reported missing by her father, Peter Lawrence, on the 20th March after having failed to turn up for work or meet friends.

Though nine people have been arrested and subsequently questioned, we are no further forward with regard as to what happened to her. On the 10th anniversary of her disappearance, we look here at the most common theories.

She might have been abducted on her way to work

North Yorkshire Police believe that Claudia left for work on the morning of the 19th, but was picked up by someone as she walked.

Her chef's uniform has never been found and her mobile phone was turned off around midday. She had been walking to work the week that she went missing as her car had been in the garage for repairs.

Or she might have absconded to Cyprus

The possibility that she had chosen to disappear was explored in the early days of the case.

Claudia had ties to Cyprus and the last message she received was from a bar worker in the area and she may have been considering working abroad.

Her passport and bank cards were both found in her house though, suggesting it would have been difficult for her to leave the country voluntarily.

Personal problems

The Uni of York staff member's personal life was somewhat of an enigma. North Yorkshire police are convinced the person/people involved in her disappearance are York locals and possibly even regulars of the Nags Head, Claudia's local pub.

Some leads were found such as a DNA sample on Claudia's car that has never been identified. Police also traced her movements to the Acomb area of York but have never been able to establish why she was there.

Police have also been frustrated as they believe that people with vital information have chosen to protect their social lives and status rather than come forward to help with the case.

Police do not believe that it was a stranger involved in the case and believe that more than one person knows what happened to Claudia. There is a hope that the truth will come out if there is a disagreement between the perpetrators.


It has also been suggested that Claudia was harmed on the evening of the 18th in her home. This comes after a person in dark clothes and carrying a rucksack was seen on CCTV behind her house that night. However, this person has never been identified.

North Yorkshire Police claim lack of cooperation from associates and wider community has hindered the search, but insist it is never to late to help.