York & North Yorkshire

York Minster vigil for missing Claudia Lawrence

Claudia Lawrence
Image caption Claudia Lawrence went missing in March 2009

A candlelit vigil has been held at York Minster to mark the 37th birthday of missing chef Claudia Lawrence.

The service was attended by Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine vanished on holiday in May 2007.

The York University chef was last seen in the city on 18 March, 2009. Police have since scaled back their suspected murder investigation.

Her father Peter Lawrence said it was a chance to remember all affected by the "tragedy" of a missing loved one.

Mr Lawrence, of Slingsby, North Yorkshire, is a member of the Minster congregation.

He said he still believed his daughter was alive.

"I think somewhere along the way, if anything had happened to Claudia, I would have felt it inside, and in fact the Archbishop expresses the same thing.

"Whenever he sees me he says, 'she's alive man, I can feel it'."

'No development'

The service was led by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and the Dean of York, the Very Reverend Keith Jones.

The Archbishop said the ceremony was to let people show their support for the families of Miss Lawrence, Madeleine McCann and others who had gone missing.

Miss Lawrence was born in Malton, North Yorkshire, and lived in the Heworth area of York.

North Yorkshire Police said detectives were no closer to finding out what had happened to her.

A spokesman said: "The investigation into the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence is still continuing, although there have been no major developments.

"We would ask anyone with information to contact us."

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