DETECTIVES in the Claudia Lawrence case plan to carry out fresh searches near her home in York today.

Just days before the missing York chef's 41st birthday on Friday, specialist search officers and a police dog will search an alleyway to the rear of Claudia's Heworth home.

The search is part of an ongoing review into the disappearance of Claudia. She was last seen on CCTV on March 18, 2009, but never turned up for work the next morning.

York Press: Chief Superintendent Simon Mason and Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn

Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, pictured above, head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit said the team was looking at whether something had happened inside Claudia's home on the night of March 18, 2009.

He said: "The team are currently working on a lead that may indicate the alleyway at the rear of Claudia’s house is significant.

"We still don’t know if Claudia left for work on the morning of Thursday 19 March 2009 or whether something happened overnight within her house. If the latter is the case the person or persons responsible, in my view, would have used the rear alleyway as the front door leads onto a busy main road. This is why this specific piece of information needs to be fully investigated."

Det Supt Malyn said officers would also contact former residents from the area who had since moved away, carry out house-to-house enquiries, and would be "checking again that no CCTV recording equipment in the neighbourhood has been overlooked".

York Press:

An alleyway near Claudia's house. Police will begin new searches today

In May 2009, two months after Claudia disappeared, police released CCTV footage of a man seen going towards the back of the terrace where Claudia lived, before returning soon afterwards, at around 5.50am on March 19. [Original story and video: See here]


>> Mar 2009 - Claudia goes missing

>> May 2009 - Crimewatch films reconstruction

>> Sep 2009 - Hunt moves to Cyprus 

>> Mar 2010 - New lead on anniversary

He said: "This remains one of several active enquiries at present that will be developed over the coming weeks and months.

"Together with Claudia’s family, we remain absolutely determined to solve this case and bring those responsible for her disappearance and suspected murder to justice."

York Press: URGENT PLEA: Peter Lawrence with a Filpot box displaying images of his missing daughter, Claudia

Peter Lawrence, Claudia's father, pictured above, said: "I'm very pleased the case is still active and they have something that makes it worthwhile taking a team and a lot of officers down there. Hopefully it will give rise to a development, but we will have to wait and see."


>> Apr 2011 - Hoaxer jailed

>> Jul 2010 - Amsterdam claim probed

>> Sep 2013 - Man reported for harassment

>> Oct 2013 - New forensic search at Claudia's house

Last year saw the first arrests relating to Claudia's disappearance, with a 60-year-old man arrested and later released from bail.

A 47-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, and remains on police bail.


>> 19 Mar 2014 - Police reveal new leads

>> 20 Mar 2014 - Mystery men were seen at her door

>> 17 Apr 2014 - New info being analysed

Det Supt Malyn said this week new arrests could take place in connection with the investigation, and said this week his team "have been able to spot things that may not have seemed significant or hugely relevant at the time", and were looking at aspects of the enquiry that may not previously have been a priority.

He said: "This is a very poignant week for Claudia’s family and friends as they should be celebrating her 41st birthday on Friday, rather than marking another upsetting milestone since she disappeared almost six years ago.

"Our thoughts are with her loved-ones at this difficult time and as we approach the sixth anniversary of the investigation next month."


>> 17 Nov 2014 - Arrested man released from bail

>> 29 Dec 2014 - Claudia's dad tells of fresh anguish

>> 23 Feb 2015 - More arrests could happen within weeks, say police


Claudia was last seen after leaving work at Goodricke College, part of the University of York, on the afternoon of March 18, 2009. She spoke to her parents by telephone that night but has not been seen or heard from since.

In March 2014, detectives released fresh appeals and new evidence. 

The seven fresh leads included new CCTV footage of a mystery man, DNA found on a cigarette in Claudia's car and that she had used her phone in the Acomb area in the weeks before her disappearance.

A cold case review began in autumn 2013, with police revisiting the original investigation using new methods "as if the incident had just occurred".