Police: Secret lovers of missing chef Claudia Lawrence are lying to us

Police conducted searches in an alleyway behind her home in York as her family prepared to mark what would have been her 41st birthday this week

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The Independent Online

Detectives have accused suspected former lovers of missing chef Claudia Lawrence of lying and called for secret boyfriends to come forward before they are found and face arrest.

Police today conducted searches in an alleyway behind Miss Lawrence’s home in York as her family prepared to mark what would have been her 41st birthday this week. She disappeared in March 2009.

Officers believe the university kitchen worker was murdered around the time of her disappearance and North Yorkshire Police is in the second year of a review into the case.

The detective leading the investigation said he suspected the chef may have been involved in an affair with a married man who was now concealing that relationship and that individuals were withholding potentially vital information.

Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn said: “I know people have lied to us. We already arrested one person on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and I will continue to arrest people if I believe they’re lying to me.”

Police are still trying to draw up a complete picture of Miss Lawrence’s relationships and officers believe people who may have been in a relationship with her are still to come forward.

One line of inquiry being pursued by officers is the theory that the chef may have been killed at her home in the Heworth area of York on the night of 18 March by someone who knew her and then removed her body via the alleyway behind her home. Despite the passing of six years, police yesterday conducted a fresh fingertip search of the area behind her terraced house.

Det Supt Malyn said: “If she came to some harm in the house during the hours of darkness, the obvious route, for me, the suspect will have taken to get away without being noticed would be down the alleyway.”

Miss Lawrence was last seen on Wednesday 18 March 2009 and was reported missing by her father on Friday 20 March after concerns were raised when she failed to turn up for her 6am shift at York University.

Following the start of the review in 2013, a 60-year-old man was arrested last year in connection with her disappearance and suspected murder but was later released without charge, while a 47-year-old man remains on bail on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

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