A DECADE on from the day Claudia Lawrence was last seen alive, the detective heading up the investigation to find her believes answers still lie in York.

Along with the Lawrence family, Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, head of the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Major Investigation Team, harbours hope that crucial details will come to light and lead them to finding Claudia, who is missing, presumed dead.

The suspected murder investigation was launched in 2009, after the then 35-year-old chef failed to arrive at work at the University of York.

Since then, arrests have been made, but no formal charges brought and Claudia’s whereabouts remains a mystery.

Det Supt Malyn said: “Ten years ago today, on Wednesday 18th of March 2009, Claudia Lawrence was last seen alive in York.

“A decade on, North Yorkshire Police will never give up on Claudia and her family.

“Information is still regularly received and we will investigate any new leads.

“Most of the information we receive is from well-intentioned members of the public, but a lot of it is speculative and people with theories.

“The call we really want is the one that helps piece together the parts of the jigsaw we already know regarding her last movements and people she associated with and places frequented.

“It remains the case that we strongly suspect key and vital information is being withheld that could provide the breakthrough that we all want to see, not least Claudia’s heartbroken family.

“Unless we get information or intelligence to suggest that Claudia came to harm as a result of an opportunity taken by someone unconnected to her, me and the team still strongly believe the answer lies locally.”

Claudia’s case was reviewed in 2013, with the creation of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit, which used new forensic techniques not available in 2009.

New evidence came to light, but without witnesses or extensive CCTV footage available at the time, little meaningful progress has been made.

Det Supt Malyn added: “As with some recent cold case successes, the breakthrough has come from the public and we still have confidence that this will be the case.

The Northern Echo:

“This investigation has been made more difficult by the lack of CCTV in the vicinity of Claudia’s home, and data and information that we normally get from social media or phone and other passive data.

“Claudia didn’t have a social media profile nor did she use a smartphone. We know also that her mobile phone didn’t leave the area before it left the phone network.

“This again is a reason I don’t believe she fell victim to an attack by a stranger.

“Also we have no actual scene where something untoward may have happened to her despite fresh forensic assessments of her house, car and other locations.”

Det Supt Malyn said: “The appeal points remain as they were when we scaled down the inquiry and as detailed on the North Yorkshire Police website – www.northyorkshire.police.uk/news/claudia-lawrence-investigation

“I cannot fully accept anything as to the identity of a suggested person, i.e. the man near the alleyway behind Claudia home, or the identity of the blue vehicle seen braking near to her address, unless we have conclusive evidence to back the information up.

“We have also brought a number of experts onto this case throughout the duration of the review and will continue to do so if we believe they can add value.

“As ever, our thoughts and continued support are with Claudia’s loved ones on this very poignant occasion.

“We all hope that those responsible for her disappearance and suspected murder are brought to justice.”

Anyone with any information can contact North Yorkshire Police via 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555111 and quote “Claudia Lawrence”.