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Police investigate Claudia Lawrence "psychic", Rodney Ballard
12:10pm Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
A “PSYCHIC” who claims to know who killed Claudia Lawrence has been reported to police.
Rodney Ballard, 66, has been following the case since Claudia disappeared in March 2009, after the 35-year-old is believed to have set off from her home in Heworth to work as a chef at the University of York.
But those close to Claudia claim his behaviour - which has allegedly included putting a wreath outside her door in Heworth, taking to social networking sites to blame those close to her for involvement in her disappearance and managing to post on the closed Find Claudia website - is harassment and have reported him to police.
In one post on his website, Mr Ballard has posted an online sketch of the moment he claims she was murdered.
Claudia’s friend, Jen King, 28, said: “He is writing comments on social media and people are believing him. If he is mentally ill he needs help but if he is not, I want an answer.
“It’s upsetting at a time when you are trying to move on with your life. The last thing I wanted to see was a crude child-like drawing of what he believes to be the last moments of Claudia’s life.
“We love Claudia and always will and we miss her and he thinks it's appropriate to point the finger at the people she loved back. It’s not okay.”
Martin Dales, a family friend and spokesman for Miss Lawrence’s father Peter said the behaviour was “grossly intrusive”.
He said: “He has been harassing us for four-and-a-half years. I think he has become obsessed with the issue.
“It begs a lot of questions in terms of how social media allows people to comment under different identities.
“It has just got too much and has become a major burden in terms of how Jen deals with the fact that one of her best friends has gone missing.
“I think if people do something long enough you are effectively trolling.”
When Mr Ballard was approached by a reporter in at his home in Nottingham, the retired coal industry electrical engineer, is reported to have said he was psychic.
He has made hundreds of posts on social media pages about her disappearence. In one distressing image he has drawn what he says is the moment of the murder.
Mr Ballard wrote: “Here we see the man who seems to be around fifty years. He has grey hair to No2 cut. He has tanned appearance perhaps due to frequent vacations in the sun or regular outdoor work.”
North Yorkshire Police, which launched a huge investigation after Claudia’s disappearance, have said they believed she was murdered but no arrests have been made.
A police spokesman said: “These types of messages are unhelpful and cause great distress to people close to Claudia who are already suffering due her disappearance and not knowing what has happened to her.”
Anyone who has any information about Claudia’s disappearance is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 or you can pass information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.