Claudia Lawrence: Search intensifies as police drain lake in hunt 12 years on

2 September 2021, 07:30 | Updated: 2 September 2021, 07:46

Claudia Lawrence went missing in March 2009.
Claudia Lawrence went missing in March 2009. Picture: North Yorkshire Police

By Emma Soteriou

Police have drained a fishing lake in York as part of their continued search for Claudia Lawrence 12 years on.

Six specialist officers were seen in Sand Hutton, North Yorkshire - eight miles from Ms Lawrence's home. 

Machinery was used to remove mud and rocks from beneath the surface of the lake while other officers carried out searches throughout the woodland, it has emerged.

Pumps had been dropped off by the fire service the week before to assist with emptying the area, with the smallest of two lakes having since been left empty by police.

It comes after the force searched gravel pits near York in their hunt for the missing chef.

Read more: Claudia Lawrence: Police search gravel pits near York in hunt for missing chef

Read more: Father of missing chef Claudia Lawrence dies aged 74

The latest developments come after police searched Sand Hutton gravel pits (file photo)
The latest developments come after police searched Sand Hutton gravel pits (file photo). Picture: Getty

Ms Lawrence's mother, Joan, told the Mirror: "As a mum, hearing about a lake being drained and a fingertip search being carried is just a nightmare.

"No parent should ever have to endure this. I’m left wondering every day what is going on and what might be found.

"Would it be her rucksack, her phone or anything at all?"

It is believed that new information shared with the force is behind the increased search in recent weeks.

Detective Superintendent Wayne Fox previously said: "I thank the public for the positive responses and new information received in support of the current phase of the investigation.

"Our focus is on finding Claudia and bringing those responsible for her disappearance and suspected murder to justice."

The popular fishing spot is being searched as part of the police's hunt for answers (file photo)
The popular fishing spot is being searched as part of the police's hunt for answers (file photo). Picture: Getty

Ms Lawrence went missing in March 2009 and police believe she was murdered, but her body was never found.

The university chef lived by herself in the Heworth area of York and her disappearance has since been subject to widespread speculation.

Her father, Peter, who died earlier in the year, had campaigned tirelessly to get answers to the puzzle of her disappearance.

North Yorkshire Police previously conducted two investigations and questioned nine people in relation to her case but no charges have ever been brought.

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