POLICE say a York woman who has been missing for five days may have been abducted.

Claudia Elizabeth Lawrence, a chef at Goodricke College, at the University of York, was last seen on CCTV cameras in Melrosegate walking towards her Heworth home after leaving work at 2.15pm last Wednesday.

Police said the 35-year-old, of Heworth Road, was in high spirits when she spoke to her parents on the phone that night – but the next morning she never arrived at work.

Detective Chief Inspector Lucy Pope said: “On Thursday morning I believe she may have left for work, but never arrived, that’s what I’m concentrating my efforts on.

“I’m concerned about what has happened. It is a possibility that an abduction could have been involved, but I have nothing to suggest what has happened at the moment.”

Claudia’s father, Peter Lawrence, a solicitor from Slingsby, issued an emotional plea to the public to help find his daughter at a press conference held at Fulford Road Police Station this morning.

He said: “Claudia is a lovely daughter and sister. She’s very sociable. She’s great with her friends and certainly not one who would go off with strangers.

“On behalf of the family and everybody who knows and cares for her, I’m appealing to you to help find her.

“She’s someone who’s always on the phone by voice or by text, but all of a sudden there has been no contact since Wednesday evening and her phone is not contactable.

“As you can imagine we are distressed and we need your help. It’s been a living nightmare not knowing what happened and we are sick with worry.”

Det Ch Insp Pope said Claudia had never gone missing before and left the house on Thursday morning with no purse, credit cards or passport. Her shift was due to start at 6am.

She appealed for anybody who might have seen a small, light blue or green, Karrimor rucksack, which she used to carry her chef's clothes to work.

If you have any information to help the inquiry, contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 247.