Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Poster appeal over missing chef

Peter Lawrence
Peter Lawrence said support from family and friends had been "fantastic"

The father of a missing university chef has walked part of her route to work handing out posters amid fears she may have been abducted.

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

Senior officers from North Yorkshire Police said her disappearance was "completely out of character" and pleaded for help in finding her.

Police said all possibilities were being considered.

Her father Peter Lawrence said the last few days had been a "living nightmare".

Mr Lawrence, of Malton, visited shops on Melrosegate in York earlier handing out posters appealing for help from businesses and passers-by.

'Hellish difficult'

He said: "There is no reason for Claudia to be missing. She had no reason to go, no problems, no troubles.

"It appears from everything at the house as though she had set off for work with her little rucksack and left all the things at her home that she would leave if she was going to work like bank cards, jewellery and everything else.

"It's hellish difficult for me to do this but it has got to be done."

Police search St Nicholas Fields in York
Police have not ruled out the possibility Miss Lawrence was abducted

Mr Lawrence said people had been in touch from all over the UK and one person from abroad.

He said: "Everybody is obviously getting in touch to say how sorry they are."

Asked how he was coping, he said: "I don't know. I don't always have the strength.

"When you're not here I may be sat at home feeling particularly weak but you have to keep going for Claudia's sake."

He said the support from family, friends and clients had been "fantastic".

Miss Lawrence last spoke to her parents by telephone on Wednesday evening.

Officers believe she disappeared about 0530 GMT on Thursday after leaving home without money, bank cards or her passport to walk three miles to her job as a chef at the college.

Family support

Det Ch Insp Lucy Pope, who was at school with Ms Lawrence, said: "It's certainly a possibility that an abduction could be involved, but I have got nothing to suggest that."

Mr Lawrence said the support from family, friends and clients had been "fantastic" and added his phone and e-mail had been "going non-stop".

Miss Lawrence is described as 5ft 6in (1.7m) tall, 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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