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Police think taxi drivers may have leads in missing Claudia case

Police looking for the missing chef Claudia Lawrence have said taxi drivers may have important information about the case.

Claudia Lawrence

North Yorkshire Police said 121 people have come forward to assist their inquiry since a national appeal was made to coincide with the fifth anniversary of her disappearance last month.

Detectives said the public's response to their appeals was "very encouraging" despite the passage of time since the University of York chef vanished, aged 35.

A Claudia Lawrence microsite on the force's website has received more than 12,700 visitors and 28,500 page views.

20 people contact police over Claudia Lawrence

Police say 10 people have called the incident room about the BBC Crimewatch programme which was shown last night.

Claudia Lawrence

A further 10 people rang during the week in the buildup to the programme.

A series of new appeals for information were featured on the programme, including efforts to identify two vehicles and two men seen near Claudia’s home on Heworth Road, York, at around the time she disappeared in March 2009.

Members of the public have also been urged to go to North Yorkshire Police’s new microsite dedicated to the Claudia Lawrence investigation which went live at 9.30pm on Wednesday.

The Claudia microsite has been viewed 6,602 times so far and this is expected to increase over the coming days and weeks.

In addition, the appeal on the North Yorkshire Police Facebook page has been seen by 9,272 people and counting.

Crimestoppers is offering a £10,000 reward for information which leads to an arrest and conviction. This information can be passed on anonymously.

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Fresh appeal launched for information on Claudia

Five years after Claudia Lawrence disappeared North Yorkshire Police say they still don't know what happened to her - but they do have what they hope are important new leads in the case.

They now believe she went missing as she walked to work on the day after she was last seen.

They already have new fingerprints found at her home and the DNA sample of a man to eliminate, but what they don't have is a prime suspect for what they believe is a murder.

Tonight they have launched a fresh appeal for information, as Chris Kiddey reports:

New DNA in Claudia case

Police investigating the disappearance of York chef Claudia Lawrence say new forensic examinations at her home have uncovered the fingerprints of people who still haven't come forward.

The major crime unit at North Yorkshire police have announced a series of new lines of inquiry - five years since Claudia went missing.Officers now believe the 35-year-old DID leave her home on the morning of March 19th but as we know didn't arrive at work.

They've also found the DNA profile of an unknown man on a cigarette butt in her car and have appealed for that person to come forward.

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Mobile phone clue in Claudia case

Det. Supt Dai Malyn
Det. Supt Dai Malyn Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, who is leading the new review of the Claudia Lawrence case has revealed that new evidence derived from calls made from Miss Lawrence's missing mobile phone suggests she had been spending time in the Acomb area of York in the weeks up to her disappearance.

He said "We believe she may have been socialising with a person or persons. Again, we would like to know who this was and where it was taking place."

Mr Malyn said he believed the silver Samsung D900 mobile was deliberately turned off by someone at about 12.10pm on March 19.

The detective said another new strand of the inquiry is focusing on tracing a man who told staff in a Co-op store at Tang Hall in York that he knew Miss Lawrence or used to work with her.

He said this was on April 1, about 10 days after she was reported missing.

New forensic clues in missing Claudia case

Claudia Lawrence
Claudia Lawrence Credit: North Yorkshire Police

North Yorkshire Police has announced a series of new lines of inquiry on the fifth anniversary of the day Claudia Lawrence failed to turn up for work at York University in 2009.

The force launched a review of the investigation last year after a new major crime unit was established by the force.

Claudia was 35 when she was reported missing by her father, Peter, on March 20 2009.

She was last seen at around 3.05pm on March 18, walking back towards her home, and that night she spoke to both her parents on the phone.

Her family believe something happened to her after she left for work early on March 19.

Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, who is leading the new review of the case, said his team has spent two months re-examining Miss Lawrence's small, terraced home in the Heworth area of York and this work supports that theory.

Police have said before that Miss Lawrence's mobile and rucksack have never been found.

Today they said her hair straighteners also appeared to be missing.

Mr Malyn said: "From the review of all the evidence available, including the fact that Claudia's bed was made and it appears that she had eaten breakfast and brushed her teeth, it is our belief that she had left for work on the morning of Thursday 19 March 2009.

"What is unusual is that Claudia's GHD hair straighteners - model number 14.4.1B and purchased in May 2007 - were missing from her home.

"From our inquiries, it is doubtful that she would take them to work in her blue and grey Karrimor bag which has also never been found."

He said techniques not available in 2009 had uncovered additional fingerprints that need to be identified.

Mr Malyn said: "There is also other DNA material from items examined in the house that have been recovered. Forensic work is ongoing in respect of these items."

He told a press conference at York police station that his team had also found the DNA profile of an unknown man on a cigarette butt in Miss Lawrence's Vauxhall Corsa.

The car was in a local garage at the time of the disappearance but Mr Malyn said the profile did not relate to any man who had yet come forward.

The detective said it was reasonable to consider whether there was a link between this man and an individual spotted by a witness who has been known throughout the five-year investigation as the "left-handed smoker".

This man was seen smoking with a woman on Melrosegate Bridge at around 5.35am on March 19 - when Miss Lawrence would have been walking to work.

Mr Malyn said: "Despite numerous high-profile appeals, neither the man or the woman have been traced. We believe it is important to repeat the appeal for any information that could identify these people.

"In particular, the man who smokes with his left hand could be significant to the investigation in relation to the male DNA profile found on a cigarette butt in Claudia's car."

New clue in missing chef case

Claudia Lawrence
Missing chef Claudia Lawrence Credit: North Yorkshire Police

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence have revealed a new forensic examination of her house has uncovered the fingerprints of people who still have not come forward five years after the university chef disappeared.

Senior officers announced a series of new lines of inquiry on the fifth anniversary of the day Miss Lawrence failed to turn up for work at York University in 2009.

North Yorkshire Police launched a review of the investigation last year after a new major crime unit was established by the force.

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