A MYSTERY well-wisher has been inadvertently adding to the torment of the family of missing chef Claudia Lawrence.
An anonymous festive wreath was first pinned to the front door of her York home at Christmas 2009 – the year Claudia vanished.
Each Yuletide since, it has been followed by a similar tribute, with the third and latest appearing on Sunday.
Each wreath has been elaborate and hand-made, but there has been no indication of who left it, or exactly why.
Now Claudia’s family is urging whoever is behind the gesture not to do it again and to stop adding to their misery.
Martin Dales, family friend and spokesman for Claudia’s father, Peter Lawrence, said yesterday: “It is appreciated what the sentiment may be behind the wreath, but Peter doesn’t find it very helpful.
“The significance of a wreath of whatever type makes it very difficult for the family and he would like whoever is doing it to desist from doing it in the future.”
Claudia, who was born in Darlington and brought up in Malton, was 35 when she disappeared from her home in Heworth, York, in March 2009.
She worked as a chef at York University and, despite a huge police operation, no trace of her has ever been found.
However, although police believe she has been murdered, her family are still clinging to hope and praying for a miracle.
And to mark the third Christmas since Claudia disappeared her sister, Ali Sims, who lives in Derbyshire, wrote her an emotional open letter urging her: “Please come home. We miss and love you loads.”
In her poignant note, Mrs Sims, 40 and a mother-of-two, updates her little sister on the family’s news since she vanished without trace nearly three years ago and says: “It would make our Christmas to have you home.”
Mrs Sims said: “It might seem silly writing to someone who may never read the thing. But while there’s still a chance she’s out there somewhere, I want her to know how much she’s loved and how much we all miss her.”
In her letter, she tells how her elder son, Luke, still asks after his aunt, and how younger son, Joshua, was a baby when he last saw Claudia.
And she laments how she was ill the Christmas before Claudia disappeared, so did not journey to see her.
“I would’ve driven up with the flu if I’d known it would be the last time I’d see you,” she wrote.