Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Campus searched for missing chef

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

Specialist search teams and rescue dogs are combing land at York University looking for a missing chef who disappeared more than a week ago.

Claudia Lawrence, 35, was last seen after leaving the University of York's Goodricke College last Wednesday.

Detectives fear she may have come to some harm and said they had received hundreds of calls from the public.

Police said detailed searches were being carried out at Miss Lawrence's home and on land at the university.

More than 100 officers have joined the search as well as extra officers from other forces.

'Tight community'

Sixty five volunteers from mountain rescue teams have also been drafted in to help comb the university grounds.

Ch Insp Dave Hannan, North Yorkshire Police's Deputy Head of Operations, said the teams had been called in to help with the physical search.

Speaking earlier, Det Supt Galloway said: "We've had hundreds and hundreds of calls, it's been an overwhelming response.

"Claudia was a very popular person in the locality. It's a very tight community and people have wanted to help us.

Mountain rescue teams
Volunteers from mountain rescue teams have been called in

"I really, really would ask people to tell us more."

Miss Lawrence left the college where she worked as a chef at about 1400 GMT.

She was last seen walking back to her house in Heworth Road just after 1500 GMT.

At about 2010 GMT that night she had separate telephone conversations with her divorced parents, Peter, 62, a solicitor, and Joan, 65, within a few minutes of each other.

Police said she was a prolific sender of text messages and the last one she sent was to a friend at about 2023 GMT.

One was sent to her by another friend just before 2115 GMT, but it is not known if she read the message.

The next day her phone was switched off or powered down and has not been located.

The officer said she did not appear on any CCTV footage from her normal route to work on Thursday.

Church invite

It was believed Miss Lawrence had left home to walk to work at about 0530 GMT on Thursday but the officer said it was not known if she had gone missing on Wednesday evening.

Chief Inspector Dave Hannan from North Yorkshire Police

Police have released CCTV footage of her arriving and leaving Goodricke College, where she worked as a chef.

Mr Galloway said police had no "tangible" evidence of a crime but there was no reason to believe that she had harmed herself and she had no financial problems.

He said: "I would appeal to anybody who knows of a historic relationship or association she might have had with somebody and that's where it will lie."

People are being invited into a church near Miss Lawrence's home to light candles and pray for her safe return.

Rev Michael Woodmansey, the vicar of Holy Trinity in Heworth, said: "The people of Heworth, and indeed all of York, are shocked and worried about the disappearance of Claudia."

Miss Lawrence is described as 5ft 6in (1.7m) tall and slim, with brown hair.

She was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and trainers.

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

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