THE Press chief reporter, Mike Laycock, was acting news editor on the weekend that Claudia disappeared. Here, he shares his memories of that weekend, and his thoughts on the 12 year long investigation.

Mike said: "I've worked at The Press for nearly 35 years and in that time there's been nothing like this in terms of the sheer scale and density of the police investigation. Certainly there's never been anything else that's attracted so much national and international attention for so long.

"I remember quite clearly the day the news broke that Claudia had gone missing. Midway through the Sunday afternoon a press release came in from the police about a missing woman and at first we weren't sure how strong a story this was because we quite regularly get reports of missing people and it often turns out there's an innocent explanation and they turn up safe and well very quickly.

"There was a really emotional appeal for help from the the woman's parents asking for her to get in touch if she was okay, they were very worried about her and the police indicated that a dozen officers were involved in the search for her. The woman's name was Claudia Lawrence, a name I'd never heard before."

Mike said the number of police vehicles and officers in Heworth proved the seriousness of the investigation, and the decision was made to make Claudia's disappearance Monday's front page.

He said: "Within about 24 hours it became a very big story, both regionally but also nationally and very quickly internationally. I remember just a day or so after the announcement, I went down to a site at St Nick's field, which was on Claudia's route to work, where a large police search was taking place. I remember quite clearly the huge number of journalists who had already turned up on this story by then.

"I never really had any idea on that Sunday that it would develop into such a long-running story that ten years later Claudia would still be missing, still no answers as to what happened to her. Over the years I've really felt for the family, who are going through this day after day, week after week, month after month and now a decade later, still not knowing what happened to Claudia.

"My heart goes out to Claudia's family. To have gone through this for a matter of weeks would be terrible, but for it to have gone on for ten years, for a decade, still with no answers as to what happened to their daughter, is just too much to think about. It's just an unimaginable anguish for the family and you just hope that sometime sooner or later the clues will come through that will allow the family to find out what happened to their daughter, and for justice to be done."