This week marks 10 years since the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence. The chef and York resident who was last seen on her way to work on 18th March 2009. Police are making fresh appeals for information about the disappearance. So long after Claudia went missing, can the case be solved?
Yesterday, friends and family held a ceremony at York Minster and lit candles in honour of Ms. Lawrence. Family spokesman and friend Martin Dales spoke to the gathering, calling for answers:
“We hope very much that we will start finding those answers that we have been needing to find”
I spoke with former police officer Martin Holleran, now a senior university lecturer in policing studies.
We talked about the impact of appeals for information in historic cases and how forensics technology can impact investigations. Used alongside fresh appeals for witnesses, there is a chance that historic cases can be solved.
Members of the public may feel they now have relevant knowledge to bring to police and investigators. Over time the breakdown of relationships and the observation of behaviours that in hindsight may seem suspicious become important to a case because .
With time, people may be willing to speak and provide the answers that the Lawrence family need said Mr. Holleran:
“You may think 10 years down the line, ‘I want to come forward'”
The former officer used an example where with the use of a home DNA test kit lead to a significant conviction in a historic case. The breakthrough was made thanks to the sort of DNA kit that can be used to build a family tree.
This occurrence was purely accidental and largely thanks to a large DNA data bank and modern technology.
Mr. Holleran was clear that there is still opportunity for a case like this to be solved a decade after the investigation began.
North Yorkshire Police are treating this case as a suspected murder investigation.
They continue to appeal for any information relating to the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence to help them make significant progress.
Over the course of the investigation nine people have been arrested and interviewed in relation to the case but there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.
There is still hope that Claudia Lawrence’s family will have the answers they need.