1. ITV Report

Hunt for Claudia Lawrence enters new phase

Missing Claudia Lawrence Photo: North Yorkshire Police

Police investigating the disappearance and suspected murder of the York chef Claudia Lawrence are to begin new forensic tests inside her house.

Experts will spend two weeks inside her terraced home in the Heworth area of the city, looking for clues which may lead them to her killer and finally solve the mystery of just what happened to her.

Claudia, who was aged 35, has not been seen since Wednesday March 18 2009 when she finished her shift for the day at the University of York.

A month later, detectives announced that they were treating her disappearance as suspected murder.

Now a newly created Major Crime Unit within North Yorkshire Police is launching a new review of the case. Forensic examinations of Claudia's home were carried out at the time of her disappearance, but detectives want to establish whether advances in forensic science could pinpoint evidence inside the house.

Claudia's house has remained largely untouched since she vanished, but police say that at some point in the future it could be sold and any chance of finding forensic evidence would be lost.

Most cold case review work considers forensic re-evaluation as techniques advance and this case is no different. I am also mindful that at some point in the future, the house may become re-occupied and these opportunities would otherwise be lost.

"Forensic science is continually evolving and I hope that scientific advances since Claudia was reported missing in March 2009, will assist with our review of the case.

"The work will begin with an initial assessment of the property, followed by approximately two weeks of further forensic work at the house."

– Det. Supt. Dai Malyn, Head of North Yorkshire Police's Major Crime Unit

The case has been one of the most high-profile police investigations in recent years. At one stage, more than 100 officers were involved in the enquiry and the search for Claudia extended to Cyprus and the Republic of Ireland.

Her parents, Peter and Joan Lawrence have made numerous appeals for information, but without success.

I am grateful for the initiative by the new team investigating Claudia’s case to re-visit her house and conduct further investigations there, including DNA testing.

'Advances in forensic science and testing in the past 4 years make this a very worthwhile exercise, and anything which helps the search to find Claudia, or at least find out what happened to her on that morning in March 2009, is welcomed.”

– Peter Lawrence, Claudia's father