Is the Claudia Lawrence inquiry finished? Final lead vanishes as DNA tests draw a blank

Detectives on the Claudia Lawrence investigation revealed today that their DNA testing work has failed to find a match.

It means the final outstanding lead in the case has hit a dead end.

Male DNA was recovered from a cigarette butt in Claudia’s car. In January 2017, as they wound down the £1 million investigation, police said DNA profiling was their last line of inquiry.

Officers travelled the country “to try and obtain DNA by consent from people who have similar DNA profiles to the unidentified samples”.

But that work has now ended without a suspect being identified.

Claudia: last seen in March 2009

Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, the senior investigating officer in the case, said:

  • This is naturally very frustrating for the investigation team and our thoughts are very much with Claudia’s family who remain desperate for a breakthrough.

    The family have been updated about the completion of this work.

    As I have said before, the investigation will always remain open and we still receive information on a weekly basis that requires assessment and follow-up.

Time consuming process

Claudia’s Vauxhall Corsa, where the cigarette butt was found
Claudia went missing on March 18 2009.

She vanished after returning to her home in Melrosegate following a shift working as a chef at the University of York.

For years police have treated the case as murder. Despite taking more than 2,500 statements and making nine arrests, officers have yet to charge anyone with her abduction or murder.

Twenty-one months ago, detectives said the DNA profiling work would take about six weeks to finalise.

“This has taken longer than first anticipated due to the amount of research and analytical work undertaken by a small team when trying to identify people they require elimination DNA from as part of the familial DNA process,” a force spokesman said today.

Public appeal

Det Supt Dai Malyn during the investigation
Det Supt Malyn said:

  • While these enquiries have been worthwhile and necessary to the investigation, they concluded without identifying a possible suspect or suspects from the DNA analysis.

    However, it demonstrates that we will continue to use forensic and other investigative work to progress this review.

Anyone who had visited Claudia’s house or been in her car for any reason, and had not been come forward to be DNA tested, “should still do so in the confidence that we can eliminate them against the outstanding DNA profiles”.

If you have information that could assist the investigation, contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and pass details to the Force Control Room quoting “Claudia Lawrence”.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 and quote “Claudia Lawrence, North Yorkshire Police”.