Claudia Lawrence has been missing for over a decade and now her dad Peter has died.
Sadly, Peter passed away aged 74 today (Monday February 15) after a “short illness”.
He worked tirelessly to find the truth about his daughter, who disappeared in 2009, but will now never see the day justice is done.
But what happened to Claudia and why has she never been found?
Who was the dad of missing Claudia Lawrence?
In a statement, the Lawrence family said: “It is sad that nearly 12 years after Claudia’s disappearance from York, Peter never found out what has happened to her.
“He was a very private person thrust into the full glare of the media, and despite a tireless campaign to find her he also selflessly devoted himself to helping others with missing relatives through the charity Missing People.”
Retired solicitor Peter received an OBE in 2018 for his tireless search for his daughter, and the creation of ‘Claudia’s Law’, which came into force in 2019.
The law allows for a guardian to be appointed to manage the affairs of a person who has been missing for 90 days or more.
What happened to Claudia in 2009?
Qualified chef Claudia lived in Heworth in York, North Yorkshire, and worked in the kitchens of the University of York’s Goodricke College.
On March 18, 2009, 35-year-old Claudia finished her shift at 2pm.
Later that evening, Claudia spoke to both her mother and father – who were divorced – on the phone, and planned to have an early night.
Afterwards, she sent a text at 8.23pm.
Failed to turn up for work
After failing to turn up to work the next morning and failing to meet a friend in a local pub that evening, alarm bells began to ring.
On March 20, her father – along with her friend – went to Claudia’s house, but found it in an orderly state.
Her mobile phone and her rucksack were missing.
This clue suggested that Claudia had left the house as usual on March 19 to go to work.
After a five-week search police upgraded Claudia’s disappearance to a ‘suspected murder’ case.
What are the theories?
The original investigation by the North Yorkshire Police was based on several theories.
One theory suggested that Claudia had a new boyfriend and ran away to start a new job and life.
Another said that Claudia had a medical emergency on her way to work on that fateful morning of March 19.
Thirdly, another claimed she became the victim of a serial killer after reports stated that several people acted suspiciously around Heworth on the same day.
Finally, police thought that Claudia may have been abducted or murdered by someone that she knew.
What’s the latest on the case?
Despite two appeals on the BBC programme, Crimewatch, Claudia’s disappearance is still a mystery.
A number of arrests were made in 2014 after new information came to light about some of Claudia’s past relationships.
Other lines of enquiries suggest a connection to Cyprus may be important.
But, despite apparent progress, the case remains unsolved to this day and no one has been charged with her murder.
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