Any parent who loses their child is left with a painful vacuum in their life that is almost impossible to comprehend for those fortunate enough not to have endured such circumstances. But those whose children disappear, never to be seen again, have to endure an additional level of daily anguish that comes with not knowing what has happened to their loved one.
This has been the sad fate of the family of Claudia Lawrence, the University of York chef whose disappearance a decade ago at the age of 35 was marked by the lighting of ten candles by some of her friends at York Minster yesterday.
The poignant day follows Mr Lawrence telling The Yorkshire Post last week that for the first time, he now admits the difficult truth that he may never see his daughter again.
The situation is made all the harder for Miss Lawrence’s family and friends to accept as detectives at North Yorkshire Police, who have treated her disappearance as a suspected murder investigation and arrested or interviewed under caution nine people over the years, are convinced vital information about her disappearance is still being withheld.
As Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn succinctly put it, “the team still strongly believe the answer lies locally”.
The time has now surely come for anyone who does have information that could provide the breakthrough in the case to come forward.
A heartbroken family deserve answers after a decade of torment and there is almost certainly someone out there with the power to provide them. It is time to speak up and end the anguish.