DETECTIVES investigating the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence have today arrested three men on suspicion of murder.

The men are all aged in their fifties and from the York area, and searches are being conducted at three houses in and around Heworth.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said Claudia has not been found, and no further information about the arrests will be released at this stage of the investigation.

York Press:

Above and below: Police at one of the scenes

York Press:

It is the latest new development since the investigation was stepped up in late 2013. Another man was arrested last month on suspicion of murder.

An elderly man living near one of the houses told The Press police had begun arriving around 7am.

Martin Dales, a friend of Claudia's father Peter, and his spokesman, told The Press: "Four arrests in a month is very good but it is only part of it. I think what is clear is that the public have been tremendous in keeping information coming - even small bits have helped police build a better picture."

He said Mr Lawrence had found the six-year investigation very hard, with hopes of progress raised and dashed in the past.

York Press:

A police officer near one of the scenes

Claudia's mother Joan Lawrence said she was also trying not to get her hopes up in case the arrests did not lead to charges.

She said: "To be quite honest, I don't know if it's positive. We have been down this road so many times haven't we? I haven't really got my head round it.

"It came completely out of the blue, I knew absolutely nothing until 8.30am. It's just awful for me. I just don't know what to think but deep down I still if I'm really, really honest, I think Aly and I feel the same, we would rather have no news than bad news."

York Press:

York Press:

Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit and the senior investigating officer in the Claudia Lawrence inquiry, said today: "As with the previous arrest last month, I strongly advise the media and members of the public against identifying the men who have been arrested.

"This is to ensure the investigation and legal process are not compromised or potentially damaged in any way.

York Press:


>>> Feb 26: Liars have held us back, says Dai Malyn - with video 

>>> Feb 23: More arrests could happen within weeks, he says

>>> March 2014: Police reveal new leads

Det Supt Malyn said: "This includes naming or publishing images of the men, their home addresses, places of work, their vehicles and properties being searched on traditional media platforms or social networking sites. 

"I urge everyone to again show restraint and patience while we carry out these very important enquiries. Your co-operation and support is greatly appreciated by the investigation team."

Mr Dales added: "What is needed now is for the people Det Supt Malyn says have been lying to him to come forward. Somebody is withholding the truth and that is despicable."

There have been a string of arrests in recent months as the investigation continues, led by Detective Superintendent Malyn (pictured previously above and below).

York Press:

North Yorkshire Police began reviewing the case in 2013.

A 60-year-old man was arrested last year in connection with her disappearance and suspected murder but was later released without charge, while a 47-year-old man arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice has also been released without charge.

A man in his fifties was arrested on suspicion of murder on March 23, and remains on police bail while enquiries continue.

In March, police had released video filmed in Heworth Place, which leads to the back of the University of York chef's home. The footage showed two people they need to identify.

They were caught on camera at 7.15pm on Wednesday March 18, 2009, a short while before Claudia spoke to her parents on the phone for the last time before going missing later that night.

Miss Lawrence was reported missing by her father after concerns were raised when she failed to turn up for her 6am shift at work the following day.

Since a review of the case began, police have since carried out a number of searches, including a detailed re-examination of Miss Lawrence's home, in the Heworth area of York, and a fingertip search of an alleyway that leads to the rear of the house (pictured below, in February).

York Press:


Can you help?

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