UPDATED - CLAUDIA LAWRENCE: Mystery men seen at her door and new CCTV released

Chief Superintendent Simon Mason and Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn at a press conference earlier this week

New CCTV released in Claudia Lawrence investigation

Updated in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

UPDATED 7.35am: A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said 10 people had contacted them since the Crimewatch appeal, and 10 people got in touch following the release of the new information yesterday morning.

He also said the new microsite had been viewed more than 6,600 times since it went live last night. 

He said: “The response to Crimewatch and the wider media appeal has been very encouraging. We hope people will continue to support the Claudia Lawrence investigation by looking at the new appeals contained on the microsite.

“The investigation team is now taking the necessary time to assess the fresh information and will issue an update in due course.”

 

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TWO mystery men were seen outside Claudia Lawrence’s house the week she disappeared, police dramatically revealed last night.

Speaking to BBC's Crimewatch, Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn revealed new witness appeals and vehicle sightings - including descriptions of two men separately seen near her Heworth Road home.

The first was seen by a motorist sitting in traffic in the days prior to her disappearance on March 19, 2009, and is described as white, in his 30s, clean shaven, about 5' 10" tall of slim build with very neat brownish hair and a fringe. The second, an older man, was reportedly seen on the morning Claudia vanished.

The first witness could not specify which day they saw the first man, but knew it was at about 2.30pm, and said he was talking animatedly on his phone and laughing as he appeared to look for a particular house. As he approached a house with a green door a woman of similar description to Claudia who was also on the phone opened the door.

A police spokesman said the woman appeared surprised to see the man.

The spokesman said the man then "appeared dejected and upset", and the woman led him into the house after looking up and down the street.

Det Supt Malyn, leading the investigation, said the description was investigated but not made public in 2009.

He said: "It is vital that this man is traced and assists the investigation. It appeared to the witness that this visitor was perhaps unexpected so it remains an important line of enquiry to identify who this was."

The man wore a mid hip-length light tan hooded Mac jacket, smart dark jeans or trousers, dark footwear, and was carrying a small dark rucksack which did not appear to have much in it.

A cyclist has also said that on Thursday, March 19, 2009 - the morning Claudia disappeared - a grey-haired man was standing outside her home between 6.45am and 6.55am.

The man was described as white, aged between 55 and 65, about six feet tall with a full head of medium-length grey hair which appeared scruffy and windswept, wearing a sandy-coloured knee-length Mac-style jacket which was unfastened and either made of thick material, or had extra clothing underneath.

Det Supt Malyn said the man was seen at "a critical period for the investigation".

He said: "We need to identify this man as soon as possible and find out what he was doing outside Claudia's house. This time would have been after she had left for work if she had walked. Therefore why this person would be so close to her door remains a very important fact we need to establish."

Investigators also want to identify a braking motorist caught on CCTV the morning Claudia disappeared. The camera near Claudia's home showed an old-style light-coloured Ford Focus, made between 1998 and 2004, braking near Claudia’s home at 5.42am, around the time Claudia would be walking to work.

Det Supt Malyn said: "The fact the car appears to brake may indicate you saw something that could be very important to us."

Detectives also want to identify the owner of a white Vauxhall Astra van seen parked near the Costcutter and fish and chip shop opposite Claudia's home for at least 30 minutes from 9.01pm on March 18, 2009.

Det Supt Malyn urged the owner of the van, or anyone with information about any of the appeals to phone 101.

Video footage of both vehicles and all the appeal information is available at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/claudialawrence

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