Mum of woman missing for 12 years confident mystery will finally be solved

The mum of missing Claudia Lawrence is confident 2021 will be the year when the mystery of her disappearance is finally solved.

Thursday marks the 12th anniversary of the chef vanishing after failing to turn up for work at the University of York.

Her desperate mum Joan Lawrence's hopeful message was accompanied by a fresh police appeal urging anyone with information to come forward and "do the right thing" to stop the "unrelenting anguish" being felt by her family.

Claudia disappeared on March 18, 2009, near York.

Joan, 77, told the Yorkshire Post: "I have a gut feeling this year will bring something that could lead us to discover what has happened to Claudia. I pray for that each day.

"I don't feel any cut off from Claudia as a mother. I have never felt that. I do not feel a tug that that has happened.

"Claudia's disappearance could not have happened at a worse time as it was around Mothering Sunday, and now that is always such a difficult day.

"Even now, I still feel like it is all a bad dream. I don't know how I have got through it. I have a very strong face, and without that, I don't think I would have got through it."

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Claudia was 35 when she went missing and North Yorkshire Police have conducted two investigations and interviewed nine people in relation to her disappearance, although no one has ever been charged.

Officers believe she was murdered despite no body being found, and Detective Superintendent Wayne Fox called on anyone with information to come forward.

The cop, who took over the investigation in October 2020, said: "Today, on the 12th anniversary of her disappearance, our hearts go out to Claudia's loved ones. They have endured unrelenting anguish and trauma throughout this time.

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"In my view, there are likely to be several people out there who either know or have strong suspicions as to what happened to Claudia.

"For whatever reason, they have maintained silence for 12 years. That is an awfully long time to carry such a burden of guilt.

"The longer you carry it, the greater anguish you are causing to Claudia's family and friends. Please do the right thing, come forward and speak to me."

Claudia's dad Peter died in February this year aged 74 without ever finding out what happened to his daughter.

He campaigned tirelessly for the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Bill, also known as Claudia's Law, which allows relatives to take control of their missing loved ones' financial matters.

It came into force in 2019.

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