Joan Lawrence, right, says ‘there is something we are missing’ regarding Claudia’s unsolved case (Picture: ITV/Getty/PA)
The mum of missing Claudia Lawrence has urged police to revisit the case of a convicted murderer as part of their investigation.
Claudia, who worked at the University of York, vanished 14 years ago today.
The chef, 35, had been due to start work at 6am a 45 minute walk from her Heworth home but never appeared.
Police believe Claudia was murdered, but no body has ever been found despite widespread investigations.
Her mum, Joan, said a recent wave of new witnesses coming forward ‘can’t just be a coincidence.’
She has urged police to reinvestigate the case of Christopher Halliwell, a former taxi driver from Swindon.
He murdered Becky Godden-Edwards, 20, in 2003 and Sian O’Callaghan, 22, in 2011.
Joan, speaking from her home in Malton, North Yorkshire, told the Mirror: ‘So many witnesses mention the ‘piercing blue eyes’. It just feels like there is something we are all missing.
Police believe Claudia Lawrence was murdered (Picture: North Yorkshire Police)
Joan Lawrence said witnesses saw a man with ‘piercing blue eyes’ which she compared to Christopher Halliwell (Picture: SWNS)
‘Surely police should be looking at this again?’
There are also unsettling similarities between the date Claudia was reported missing, March 19 and Halliwell.
Joan continued: ‘I believe one of his girlfriends left him on the date and it’s the day he abducted Sian in 2011.
‘I am worried police have dismissed it without thoroughly investigating.’
A ‘treasure trove’ of items belonging to Halliwell were also found in a lake in Ramsbury, Wiltshire in 2014.
Joan has called for the chance to see the items as she ‘might recognise something of Claudia’s that could be vital.’
Police at the spot where they found the body of murder victim Becky Godden Edwards (Picture: SWNS)
Joan Lawrence has been working tirelessly to find answers over the last 14 years (Picture: ITV)
North Yorkshire Police released a new statement this morning and called for anyone with information to come forward.
The statement reads: ‘On the 14th anniversary of the disappearance and suspected murder of Claudia Lawrence in York, our thoughts remain with Claudia’s loved ones at this very difficult and poignant time of year.
‘Claudia’s family, friends and the wider public can be assured that all new information is carefully, and thoroughly, assessed by the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Police Cold Case Review Unit.
‘Any information that is assessed as being credible and capable of development will be acted upon. This is hopefully demonstrated by the enhanced policing activity which took place in late 2021.
‘Whilst the investigation remains reactive, North Yorkshire Police is committed to providing the answers that those closest to Claudia need.
‘We are reaching out once again to the public to assist us in our ongoing efforts to find those answers.’
More than £1 million has been spent on the search to find Claudia (Picture: PA)
Previously, sources close to the investigation revealed Claudia’s Samsung D900 phone was connected to a mast next to York University, where she worked, when her manager called at 10am on March 19.
The evidence support the police’s theory she was killed by someone close to her.
Two hours after her manager called, phone records indicates that her phone was switched off.
Claudia’s father, Peter, died in February at the age of 74 without knowing what happened to his daughter.
In his first ever public appeal, he said: ‘I don’t believe that she was abducted in the sense of a forcible removal.
‘It would be quite difficult to do that, even with a smallish girl like Claudia, because she would kick, shout and scream, but there’s always the possibility that someone she knew vaguely offered her a lift.’
Police searched Sand Hutton Gravel Pits in 2021 after receiving new information on the mystery (Picture: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Peter Lawrence died before finding out what happened to his daughter (Picture: PA)
Despite her well-publicised disappearance, Joan recently revealed how letters are still being sent to Claudia’s cottage several times a year demanding a licence fee payment.
The 79-year-old continues to maintain her daughter’s former home by herself after her ex-husband Peter died aged 74 in 2021.
She drives there from Malton, North Yorkshire, every two weeks.
‘There was a letter recently, threatening a £1,000 fine if the licence wasn’t paid. It’s unbelievable,’ she said.
‘I’ve written to them to tell them what’s happened, and the police are supposed to be sorting it out, but the letters still come.’
The BBC later issued an apology over the issue.
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should make a report via the North Yorkshire Police website or by calling 101, select option 1, and pass details to the Force Control Room.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded, and you will not go to court.
Please quote ‘Claudia Lawrence’ when providing details.
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