‘Daily ordeal’ of friend over Claudia

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THE best friend of missing Claudia Lawrence spoke yesterday of her daily battle to cope with the ordeal when the first church service of its kind was held in the North of England.

Suzy Cooper shared her experiences with the 100-strong congregation who attended the first Missing People Northern Carol Service which was organised by Miss Lawrence’s father, Peter, in St Chad’s Church in York.

She revealed that she has battled a “daily dilemma” about how people expect her to behave and how she has really felt, adding: “I have experienced emotions that I never knew existed.”

Miss Cooper stressed her speech was not solely centred on the search for York University chef Miss Lawrence, whose disappearance at the age of 35 in March 2009 is being treated as suspected murder.

She said she hoped the speech would help others who have endured a loved one going missing. She also paid tribute to the work and support of the Missing People charity.