Claudia's dad - My torment over Joanna Yeats case

THE father of missing York University chef Claudia Lawrence has spoken of his torment as he follows "every twist and turn" of the Joanna Yeates murder investigation.

Claudia vanished in March 2009 - but unlike the tragic case of the Bristol landscape architect no trace of her has been found, leaving the anguish "eating away" at him.

He added that, when Joanna's parents revealed they felt a modicum of relief that she had, at least, been found, he knew exactly what they meant.

And he confirmed that when a body was found on Christmas Day it briefly crossed his mind that it might have been his 36-year-old daughter.

Peter, a solicitor from Slingsby, North Yorks., said: "The moment I heard that another young woman had disappeared my initial thought was 'Oh dear God no, not another young girl. Not another family who today will begin the anguish that has eaten away at me.

"Not more parents whose whole world is about to change forever. Not another father whose every waking moment will be tormented with unanswered questions.

"I have followed every twist and turn of Jo's case and I know that while the family's total devastation at her murder is indescribable, I know too that they will derive some comfort that they at least know what happened to her however horrific that was.

"If I could at least have that it would mean so much. When Jo's body was found there was that moment when I thought perhaps it might be Claudia.

"And even though you desperately don't want to be told it is your child there is, when you have been waiting for news as long as I have, part of you that thinks you could perhaps find some closure, some relief, if it was."

Peter noted the similarities between the two cases, and remains confident Claudia will be found.

He added: "It seems Jo knew her attacker and I'm confident it is the same with Claudia. There was one sighting on the morning she disappeared of a couple arguing near a car and whoever they were they have never come forward.

"Those sort of snippets of information take on huge significance when there is so little to go on."

Claudia failed to turn up for her shift at the University of York on March 18 2009. Despite a massive police probe no arrests have been made and no significant clues have been found.