North Yorkshire Police “will work tirelessly” to search for answers over the disappearance and suspected murder of Claudia Lawrence in York, the force’s senior investigating officer said.

Fifteen years ago today (Monday, March 18) Claudia was last seen on CCTV heading to her home in Heworth from the University of York where she worked as a chef.

Three days later North Yorkshire Police released a missing person appeal which has become the force’s largest and most complex missing person inquiry in its history.

Detectives believe the 35-year-old was murdered but no body has ever been found.

Speaking on the anniversary of Claudia’s disappearance, Wayne Fox, North Yorkshire Police’s senior investigating officer for the case, said the inquiry is not closed.

York Press: Claudia LawrenceClaudia Lawrence (Image: PA)

The force’s Cold Case Review Unit continues to receive information and every new piece of information is “carefully assessed”, he said.

Det Supt Fox, who has been senior officer for the case since 2020, said North Yorkshire Police will take “decisive action” if new developments are made.

He noted the force’s search of gravel pits in Sand Hutton in August 2021. At the time he said “nothing of obvious significance” was found during the search.

“I hope the scale of activity which took place within that operation clearly demonstrates that, if information is capable of being effectively developed, North Yorkshire Police will work tirelessly in our continued search for the truth,” Det Supt Fox added.

“If you know something that could help us find Claudia, or those involved in her disappearance and suspected murder, I urge you to come forward now.”

Detective 'cannot begin to understand' pain Claudia's family feel

Det Supt Fox said he “cannot begin to understand the pain” Claudia’s mother Joan and her family “feel every single day”.

“For such pain and despair to continue for 15 years without knowing where your child is, or what happened to them, well that is far beyond what any mum or dad should ever have to live with.

“Joan has lived with unending uncertainty and trauma since the last conversation she had with Claudia on the telephone on the evening of 18 March 2009.

“I also think about Claudia’s dad, Peter, who tragically passed away three years ago without ever knowing what happened to his daughter.”

York Press: March 2009: Ryedale MP John Greenway holding missing person posterMarch 2009: Ryedale MP John Greenway holding missing person poster (Image: Newsquest)

Claudia would have celebrated her 50th birthday on February 27.

“That she has been denied the opportunity of fulfilling her potential and living life in a way that made her happy, be that in career aspiration, travelling the world or the possibility of raising children, is tragic in the extreme,” Det Supt Fox said.

“Let us not forget that Claudia’s family and closest friends have also been denied the opportunity of living and sharing these types of momentous moments with her.

“That is equally sad and can surely only magnify the pain that they continue to feel 15 years on.”

'Do the right thing and make a report' - plea for answers to break silence

Det Supt Fox said the “single barrier to unlocking the answers for Claudia’s loved-ones and bringing those responsible for her disappearance to justice, remains the same – silence”.

“Silence from the people who know, or may suspect, what happened to Claudia but have, so far, for reasons that are only known to them, been unable to come forward to the police or even pass on information to Crimestoppers anonymously.

York Press: Wayne Fox, North Yorkshire Police’s senior investigating officer for the caseWayne Fox, North Yorkshire Police’s senior investigating officer for the case (Image: North Yorkshire Police)

“There may be many reasons as to why they have been unable to come forward, however, my plea to them on reaching 15 years of living with the knowledge is you have is to do the right thing and make a report.

“You can help bring an end to the pain and uncertainty for Claudia, her mum and all who love her.”

Anyone with information that could help the investigation should make a report on the North Yorkshire Police website or call 101, select option four, and pass details to the Force Control Room.

Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at

Quote “Claudia Lawrence” when providing details.