River body is not missing chef, say police

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The Independent Online

The body of a woman found in a river is not that of missing university chef Claudia Lawrence, police said today.

North Yorkshire Police were called to the River Ouse at Bishopthorpe Bridge, in Fulford, York, at 10.40am.

A spokesman said the body was not 35-year-old Miss Lawrence, who went missing in the city more than four weeks ago.

The spokesman said the identity of the body was not known and a post-mortem examination was due to take place later today.

Miss Lawrence was last seen on 18 March after she finished work at the University of York's Goodricke College and has not been in contact with anybody since around 8.30pm that day.

She failed to arrive at work at 6am the next morning and later did not meet a friend as arranged.

Police believed she may have come to harm after meeting up with someone she knew.

Yesterday, detectives said they were investigating a "significant" new line of inquiry after a motorist told police he saw a couple involved in a roadside argument in the early hours of 19 March.

Detective Superintendent Ray Galloway told reporters in York that the driver saw a man and a woman arguing near a car with its passenger door open on University Road at around 6.10am that morning.

Mr Galloway also said that, on 10 or 13 March, a woman motorist passing by Miss Lawrence's home on Heworth Road in slow moving traffic saw two men outside the chef's front door.

One of the men appeared to be trying the door, either with a key or by turning the handle.

The North Yorkshire police investigation into Miss Lawrence's disappearance is now the biggest the force has conducted since the search for multiple killer Mark Hobson five years ago.