Claudia Lawrence, Missing York University Chef, Now Believed a Murder Victim



Claudia Lawrence, 35, was last seen leaving work at Britain’s University of York in March. Although police considered her disappearance suspicious during the early days of their missing persons probe, they soon feared that she came to harm after meeting up with someone she knows…

A friend, Liz Holder, 28, told police that she had exchanged text messages with Claudia early on the day she disappeared.
“She said she was getting up early for work,” Holder said.  “I said she shouldn’t be walking and she said not to worry, that it was sunny and it would keep her fit.  With hingsight, she should have got a lift or a taxi.  She seemed normal.”
According to Detective Superintendent Ray Galloway, the investigator leading the search, detectives were working on descriptions of men seen at or near her home in York, and were trying to run down information about a couple seen arguing by a car near the university on the morning after her disappearance.
Galloway also said that detectives searched her home, thinking that perhaps she had merely gone off somewhere on her own.  She was known to travel to Cyprus, where she spent several holidays.  She was also planning to travel there again shortly before she vanished.  She knew several men on the holiday island, and she had been offered work there on a previous visit.  However, that theory was discounted after the search of her home–none of her belongings seemed to be missing, and police found her passport there.
Nonetheless, police went to Cyprus to run down leads and to make inquiries with her known contacts there.  Although her cell phone was never found, investigators determined that she sent her last text message to Steve Sammons, one of eight British men interviewed by detectives and who resided on Cyprus.
“I texted her about coming over here to Cyprus,” Sammons said.  “She wanted a break.  She was thinking about coming here…I was the last person to text her. I think they are trying to cover all angles.”
Sammons said that he and Claudia had never been involved in a romantic relationship, and emphasized that they were just good friends. “We drank together in the pub and we had been on holiday together,” he said.  “We were good friends and had been for a while.” Police said that Sammons was not a suspect in her disappearance.
Despite having her case profiled on the BBC’s Crimewatch program and a 10,000 pound reward for information offered, Claudia Lawrence is still missing and police believe she has been murdered.
“At the moment we have no proof of Claudia’s death,” Galloway said.  “However…we also have no proof of her life.  The investigation is…formally classified as one of suspected murder.”