THE family of missing chef Claudia Lawrence are preparing to mark her 40th birthday this week.

It is nearly five years since she went missing after leaving work in York, and on Thursday her family will quietly remember her birthday.

Despite a huge police hunt and recent review of the case by North Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit, no new information about her possible whereabouts has been released.

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Her disappearance remains one of Britain’s highest profile unsolved crimes.

Ms Lawrence's older sister, Ali Sims, 43, told a national Sunday newspaper she longs for the day her sister comes home, saying; “All I want to do is give her a hug.”

Mrs Sims, who lives in Derbyshire with her husband and two children aged nine and five, said her sister would have wanted to celebrate her birthday in style.

She said Claudia “probably would have had some drinks down her local pub, the Nag's Head, with everyone who was special to her”.

She said they planned to take her mother, Joan, from Malton, out for the day to keep try and prevent her dwelling on the fact her daughter is not there.

Mrs Sims said it is painful to know her youngest son has no recollection of her sister, as he was a baby when she went missing.

Mrs Sims said she found not knowing what has happened to her sister very difficult and every day lived in dread of bad news.

In October a team of forensics officers conducted an in-depth search of her home on Heworth Road, York, using newly advanced scientific techniques and tests in a bid to discover new information.

Mrs Sims told the Sunday newspaper she believed there was someone out there who had abducted her sister and she wanted them brought to justice.

“In October forensic officers went back into Claud’s house but if they found anything interesting they didn’t tell us," she said.

“I’m pleased they haven’t forgotten her but also I dread what they might find.”

Ms Lawrence, who was born in Darlington and grew up in Malton, was a chef at York University. Her disappearance is being treated as suspected murder.