Page last updated at 21:04 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 22:04 UK

Missing chef website investigated

Claudia Lawrence
Claudia Lawrence worked at the University of York

A website set up in the name of missing chef Claudia Lawrence which asks for public donations is being investigated by police.

The 35-year-old was last seen on 18 March after leaving the University of York's Goodricke College, where she worked as a chef.

North Yorkshire Police said neither they nor Miss Lawrence's family had any connection to the site.

The public are being advised not to make donations.

In a statement, North Yorkshire Police said: "It has been brought to our attention that a website going under the name of claudialawrence.com has been set up which is asking for donations to the 'Claudia Lawrence Appeal'.

"Please be aware that neither Claudia's family or North Yorkshire Police have had any involvement with this website.

Missing possessions

"We strongly advise members of the public not to make donations.

"North Yorkshire Police is making inquiries regarding this website."

The detective leading the search for Miss Lawrence has made an appeal for fresh information on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.

Replicas of Miss Lawrence's missing mobile phone and bag
Replicas of her mobile phone and bag were shown on Crimewatch

The programme heard the police investigation was the biggest in North Yorkshire for five years.

Det Supt Ray Galloway described Miss Lawrence as a "very sociable, gregarious" person with a "wide circle of friends".

He said: "I am significantly concerned that she's come to harm."

Mr Galloway showed replicas of Miss Lawrence's rucksack and mobile phone which are missing.

"I need to know where they are," he said.

The programme said that by 2200 BST it had received eight calls about the investigation.

One caller reported a possible sighting of Miss Lawrence's rucksack and names were given of people who could know her whereabouts.

It was initially thought Miss Lawrence had disappeared after setting off on the three-mile walk from her home to work the following morning.

But she does not appear on any CCTV footage from her normal route and senior police officers said it was possible she met up with someone the previous night.

She disappeared without taking any money, bank cards, or her passport, police said.

Friends and family have described her disappearance as "totally out of character".

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

Police are appealing for help to find the small blue or green rucksack which Miss Lawrence used to carry her chef whites to work.



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