HOPES of a breakthrough in the investigation into missing Claudia Lawrence have been dashed after the last lead in the case came to nothing.

A national and intensive search to match unknown DNA found during the investigation, which police had hoped would shed light on what happened to the missing York chef, has proved fruitless.

Detectives began scaling back a £1m review of the case last year and said DNA profiling was the only line of inquiry left outstanding.

Last night Martin Dales, a friend and a spokesman for Claudia's father Peter, said: "Peter and the family and friends share North Yorkshire Police’s disappointment that this very intensive, lengthy and nationwide DNA investigation has on this occasion proved inconclusive.

"Someone knows something but the something is being withheld which after nearly ten years is both wrong and cruel to Claudia’s family.”

Detectives said they had to travel around the UK to try to obtain DNA by consent from people with similar DNA profiles to the unidentified samples recovered during the investigation. There has also been work done to reconstruct Claudia’s DNA from various sources for elimination purposes.

Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn said: “This is naturally very frustrating for the investigation team and our thoughts are very much with Claudia’s family who remain desperate for a breakthrough. The investigation will always remain open and we still receive information on a weekly basis that requires assessment and follow-up." He urged people to come forward who had been in Claudia's house or car, to eliminate them from the outstanding DNA profiles. Anyone with information can contact 101.