On the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of York chef Claudia Lawrence, her anguished mum Joan has called for a police apology over how the inquiry has been handled.
Talking to ITV Calendar, Joan says her deeply-felt frustration at how North Yorkshire Police has investigated the case coupled with how murder squad officers have treated her caused her huge anguish.
Claudia was 35 when she was last seen in Heworth, where she lived, on March 18, 2009. She was reported missing the following day after she failed to turn up for a shift at work at the University of York.
Although Joan feels the current investigation team is doing its best, she believes it was hampered by the first four and half years of the inquiry which focused intensely on Claudia's private life. She also believes she has been poorly treated by North Yorkshire Police.
Shockingly, Joan recalls she learned from the TV news that Claudia’s disappearance was being treated as a murder investigation:
Despite the obstacles Joan, from Malton, has faced, she continues to do all she can to keep Claudia’s disappearance in the public arena until she hopes she is found.
Reflecting on the past decade, she said:
Today, Joan, who has one other daughter Ali Sims and two grandchildren, would like an apology from the North Yorkshire police force for the manner in which it handled the early years of Claudia’s disappearance:
Despite all Joan has been and continues to go through, she refuses to give up hope. When Calendar asked if she thought Claudia was still alive: 'Yes,’ she states before poignantly adding: