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Father 'devastated' as missing chef Claudia Lawrence reward withdrawn

The father of missing chef Claudia Lawrence spoke today of his "devastation" as it was revealed that a cash reward for information was being dropped.

The decision, which emerged on the 18-month anniversary of Miss Lawrence's disappearance, means North Yorkshire Police will now remove their appeal posters from fleet vehicles because they refer to the reward.

Speaking outside his daughter's home in Heworth, York, Peter Lawrence, said: "The impression everybody will get is the team is being wound down, posters are being removed, the reward is being removed.

"The impression people will get, unless the police say otherwise, is the investigation has been abandoned.

"The posters were the only visible sign of the police investigation.

"Everybody in the York area was able to see those posters on the side of emergency vehicles."

Crimestoppers put up the £10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for Miss Lawrence's disappearance shortly after she vanished.

Today's development comes just weeks after police decided to scale back the suspected murder investigation.

Mr Lawrence, a solicitor, added: "I'm disappointed. I understand it is a charity and funds are limited.

"Personally I'm absolutely devastated the reward has not been renewed."

Miss Lawrence, a chef at York University, who was 35 when she went missing, was last seen leaving her workplace on March 18 2009.

Mr Lawrence said searches for his daughter had ended and the police relied on the public phoning in any information.

He said he hoped the police would consider putting up new posters appealing for information.

"We keep going with the campaign. I hope one day somebody will come up with the information. I just feel she is alive."