EXACTLY 2,000 days since Claudia Lawrence disappeared, her father has spoken of the “lift” recent arrests have had on he and his family.
Speaking from the home of the Archbishop of York, where a candle has been alight since the day she went missing, an emotional Peter Lawrence this morning said advances in the ongoing investigation to find her was similar to being on a rollercoaster.
Mr Lawrence, from York, said: “It’s a rollercoaster. Something happens and then nothing happens and then something else happens.
“It obviously gives a bit of a lift because you know the police must have turned up some evidence to be allowed to make an arrest.
“What that is we will have to wait and see, but it obviously gives a bit of a lift that the new team has been doing something.”
Mr Lawrence spoke publicly today on the 2,000th day since she was last heard from – March 18, 2009.
Despite not having seen her for five-and-a-half years, Mr Lawrence said he and his family still believed Claudia would one day return safe and well.
“It gets more difficult but we have got to hope she will turn up safe and well. It has happened before.
“I think 2,000 days is another opportunity to make the public aware of the fact that Claudia is still missing, and my campaign to find her. It doesn’t change anything on a daily basis as to keeping up the hope and the support of everyone.”
On the “milestone” date, Claudia’s father blamed individuals not releasing information as to her whereabouts as to why she is still missing.
He said: “It’s five and a half years. Imagine 2,000 days with someone that you love dearly, missing.
“Everyday there’s that loss and it doesn’t get any better and it can’t get any better when in Claudia’s case, we don’t know what happened to her.
“We don’t know where she is, we don’t even know I suppose know whether she is alive, though we still hope she is and will come back to us, but it’s just so hard to imagine it.
“And in part it’s because someone out there has not felt it necessary to say what happened to Claudia.
“The one thing that police and I do agree on is that there’s obviously someone out there that knows what happened to Claudia.
“But either through a misguided sense of loyalty or through fear or whatever it is, they are not allowing me or Claudia’s sister Ally or her mum to have the knowledge of where our daughter is.”
Mr Lawrence said he was encouraged by the recent advances in the police investigation, but feels the police could communicate more with the family.
“It’s very limiting what the police can say but they could keep in touch more,” he said.
“The only way I knew that one person had been re-bailed was through one of our regional newspapers.
“But both forensically and by going through all the witnesses and lots of reinterviewing, they have obviously made some progress because they made two new arrests.
“But we will obviously wait and see.”
But Claudia’s father said the time passed has not made it easier for him and his family to come to terms with her disappearance.
He said: “We need to find out what’s happened to her.
“It’s difficult to cope because every day you have got that sense of loss. I always describe it as having a hole in your stomach, there’s something wrong, something missing.
“We know what’s missing, but we don’t know what’s wrong. It’s not as though Claudia had been killed in a car accident or something like that, which is bad enough, but at least you know what has happened.
“Here you have got every day and now 2,000 of them where we don’t know what has happened.”
Mr Lawrence said the Presumption of Death Act 2014 is due to come into force on October 1, and that the Government had announced its consultation on guardianship over missing people.
“Rules of Court have been made as I have seen and it should now be possible for any solicitor to advise a client how make an application for a certificate of Presumption of Death,” said Mr Lawrence.
“It will be a straight forward procedure at last. That’s not something we want to do at the moment for Claudia.
“The Government has somewhat belatedly issued its consultation on guardianship.
The ability to look after the financial and practical affairs of someone who is missing.
“It will run until November 18 and we are campaigning for people to help us with this.”
Mr Lawrence thanked the public, and the Archbishop of York, for their continued support through the campaign to find Claudia.
He added: “There’s obviously been great support, locally and indeed nationally, and in fact I was even at an airport in the south of France last week and someone mentioned it.
“The Archbishop of course has been a great support. In his private chapel, there’s a photograph and candle that has been lit since the day Claudia disappeared in March 2009.
“Whatever happens I will continue with the campaign to find out what happened to Claudia.”