Police in search for Claudia speak to burglary suspect

DETECTIVES investigating the disappearance and suspected murder of Claudia Lawrence have spoken to a man arrested in connection with a burglary in York as part of their enquiry.

The man was not a formal suspect in the hunt for the missing York woman but was quizzed by police in connection with it because of the location of a burglary he has now been charged with.

The alleged break-in did not take place at Miss Lawrence's home in the city.

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A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "A man was arrested and charged in relation to a burglary offence in York.

"Due to the location and circumstances of the burglary, police officers investigating the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence spoke to him in connection with the investigation.

"He was not a formal suspect but was spoken to in a voluntary capacity, one of many people spoken to during the course of the investigation.

"To date there have been no formal suspects identified as part of the inquiry.

"No one has been arrested or interviewed under caution in connection with Claudia's disappearance or suspected murder."

Last month North Yorkshire Police confirmed it was scaling back the number of officers dedicated to the inquiry.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said 100 officers had been working on the investigation at its height.

A year after Miss Lawrence disappeared, this figure had dropped to between 20 and 30 and it has now been cut to seven.

The force also revealed that cost of the operation so far was about 770,000.

However Mr Madgwick said a dedicated response team and phone number would be allocated to respond to any calls received as a result of a TV documentary about Miss Lawrence which is due to be screened this week. The Channel 4 documentary Missing – The Claudia Lawrence Story will be shown on Friday at 7.30pm.

Last month Miss Lawrence's father Peter told of his hope that this new nationwide appeal could trigger a vital piece of information to help solve the mystery surrounding his daughter's disappearance 16 months ago.

The 30 minute documentary will show the ordeal that her friends and family have endured since she vanished.

The York University chef was last seen alive near her Heworth Road home after finishing work at Goodricke College on March 18 last year. She spoke to family and friends that evening but did not turn up for work the following morning.