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

Guru Careers: Junior Web Developer

£18 - 22k (DOE) + Benefits & Stock Options: Guru Careers: Junior Developer / J...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Structural Engineer

£17000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Structural Engineer ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Sales Executive

£18 - 24k OTE + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Executive ...

Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?