Claudia Lawrence investigation: More arrests possible, police confirm


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The Independent Online

More people could face arrest regarding the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence, being treated as murder by police, with the investigation “very much active,” according to North Yorkshire Police.

This comes as police confirmed a 46-year-old man from the York area was arrested this morning on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the force said: “The man is currently being interviewed in custody while searches and forensic enquiries are conducted in relation to the investigation.”

They added: “With this investigation very much active, and with the possibility that further arrests will be made, it is extremely important that the media and the public do not publish or broadcast anything on traditional media platforms or on social and digital sites, that could compromise the enquiry.”

And a major search of the Acomb pub, where the missing chef was seen drinking in the weeks before she went missing in March 2009, got underway today. The pub, in Kingsway East, was cordoned off as several police vehicles with officers including scenes of crime and dog handlers spent the day searching the property.

Missing: Claudia Lawrence

Responding to the latest developments, Martin Dales, the spokesman for Peter Lawrence, Claudia’s father, said: “Peter remains very grateful for all the hard work that North Yorkshire Police are continuing to put in to finding Claudia. It is to be hoped that this is another vital piece in the jigsaw of information that needs to come in to the police.” He added: “It is much better if people volunteer information than wasting valuable police time in them having to find it out for themselves and then come looking for people.”

The latest developments come just two months after Michael Snelling, a former lab technician at the University of York, where Ms Lawrence also worked, was arrested on suspicion of her murder. The 59-year-old remains on police bail while enquiries continue, according to detectives.

The past year has seen a major forensic review of the case and an appeal on BBC's Crimewatch in March, to mark the fifth anniversary of the 35-year-old going missing.

And police have renewed their appeal for people to come forward, with a £10,000 reward available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Ms Lawrence’s disappearance.