Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

Fears growing over missing woman

Claudia Lawrence with her father Peter
Miss Lawrence last spoke to her father on Wednesday evening

Detectives say fears are growing for a woman who has not been seen since she left work five days ago.

Claudia Lawrence, 35, was last seen by colleagues at the University of York's Goodricke College on Wednesday.

At a news conference police said her disappearance was "completely out of character" and her father made an appeal for help to find her.

Police were "keeping an open mind", but could not rule out the possibility that Miss Lawrence had been abducted.

Miss Lawrence spoke to her parents on the telephone on Wednesday evening.

She is thought to have disappeared at about 0530 GMT on Thursday after she left home with no money, cards or passport to walk three miles to her job as a chef at the college.

'No worries'

Det Ch Insp Lucy Pope said: "It's certainly a possibility that an abduction could be involved but I have got nothing to suggest that."

She said Miss Lawrence was a "happy and sociable person" who had never gone missing before.

The detective said: "There is nothing to suggest that she had any concerns or worries that would make her want to leave.

"Her disappearance is completely out of character.

Peter Lawrence: desperate for information

"The investigation team has carried out extensive inquiries and these efforts will continue.

"However, so far we have not had any signs to confirm that Claudia is safe and well."

Miss Lawrence's father Peter, who lives in Malton, appealed to people in York to help find her.

He said: "Even the smallest piece of information or possible sighting could really help the police inquiry.

"Claudia's someone who was always on the phone - by voice, or by text - but all of a sudden, there's been no contact since Wednesday evening and her phone is not contactable.

"As you may imagine, we're distraught, and we need your help.

"It's just been a living nightmare not knowing what's happening, and we're sick with worry.

"We keep hoping and praying that Claudia will walk through the door or telephone to let us know she is okay.

"But the longer this goes on the harder it is to cope with this distressing situation."

Miss Lawrence is described as 5ft 6in, slim, with brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and trainers.

Police are appealing for help to find a small blue or green rucksack which she used to carry her chef's whites to work.



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