House searched by police in hunt for missing chef

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The Independent Online

Police investigating the disappearance of university chef Claudia Lawrence spent two days searching a house about 10 miles from her home as a result of a "recent development".

A team of about 20 officers, including divers, examined a house and the land around it in the village of Ellerton, East Yorkshire, detectives revealed last night.

Ellerton is about 10 miles from the York suburb of Heworth, where Miss Lawrence lived alone.

Miss Lawrence, who was 35 at the time of her disappearance, was last seen near her home on March 18, last year, and failed to arrive for her job as a chef at the University of York the following morning.

The search is now understood to be finished but police would give no further details.

The house is the latest in a series police have searched in connection with Miss Lawrence's disappearance, which detectives are treating as a murder inquiry.

A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said: "Police investigating the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence have carried out searches at a property and land in the Ellerton area of Humberside.

"The searches are as a result of a recent development within the investigation.

"The searches were carried out over May 24 and 25 and involved around 20 officers, including an underwater search team, who searched culverts which form part of the property.

"Inquiries are continuing."

The spokeswoman said no arrests had been made.