Missing Megan Roberts: Fears for York student grow as police focus hunt on river

The father of Claudia Lawrence, the university chef who went missing in York in 2009, expresses concern

Crime Correspondent

Police hunting for a missing university student are focusing their search on the river which runs through the city where she disappeared.

Specialist police teams were searching a river in York last night for a student who went missing on a night out with friends, without anybody raising the alarm for more than four days.

Police said there was no suggestion of criminality over the disappearance of Megan Roberts, who was last seen in the early hours of Thursday.

CCTV footage showed her walking with a group of friends on one side of the River Ouse on their way home. Other cameras picked up the group on the other side of the river having apparently crossed Lendal Bridge in the centre of the city, but there was no sign of the 20-year-old.

Ms Roberts was reported missing by her mother on Monday morning after a friend raised the alarm. An underwater search team was searching in the river while other officers scoured the banks for any sign of the student from York St John University.

Police have investigated a message on her Twitter feed posted six days before her disappearance in which she complained about a man who followed her from a pub to a second one. “Can’t believe a guy just followed us from one pub to another and came in and sat down next to us, staring at us like it was completely fine,” she wrote.

A police diver enters the River Ouse near Lendal Bridge in York in the search for missing student Megan Robert (PA) A police diver enters the River Ouse near Lendal Bridge in York in the search for missing student Megan Robert (PA)

Superintendent Phil Cain said: “We are exploring with friends who are aware of a Twitter message, which was commenting about a male in a bar where Megan was at the time.

“Friends are convinced there was nothing to suggest Megan was being stalked at that stage. We do not believe that is connected to Megan’s disappearance. At this moment in time there’s no suggestion of any criminality whatsoever and we are treating this as a missing from home.”

Ms Roberts was last seen at around 2am on Thursday in the Popworld nightclub on George Hudson Street. The student, who is around 5ft 6in tall and of medium build with long dark brown hair, was wearing a cream knee-length dress patterned with large brown and orange flowers and black plimsoll-type shoes.

A spokesman for Peter Lawrence, the father of Claudia Lawrence, the university chef who went missing in York in 2009 and has never been found, said that his prayers were with the missing student’s family and friends.

“The 100-plus hours between when she was last seen early last Thursday morning and the reporting today makes it very difficult for those looking for her, whether police, family or friends, as the first few hours of being missing are critical,” he said.

Ben Bason, from University Radio York, said the broadcaster was doing its bit to help in the search. “We’re trying to trigger anyone’s memory who might have been out on Wednesday night and might have seen her,” he said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Software Developer

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Software Developer i...

AER Teachers: Graduate Primary TA - West London - Autumn

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

AER Teachers: Graduate Secondary TA - West London

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Surrey - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Croy...

SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent