July 24 2014
– Detectives investigating the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence have arrested a 46-year-old man on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
The man, who police say is from the York area, is currently being interviewed in custody while detectives conduct searches and forensic enquiries in relation to the investigation.
Meanwhile, detectives investigating the disappearance of the 35-year-old from York were searching a pub in the city that Ms Lawrence used to frequent.
Around eight police vehicles with officers, including scenes of crime and dog handlers, descended on the The Acomb pub in York early this morning and have been searching it since.
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police confirmed that they were interviewing a 46-year-old man in connection with Ms Lawrence’s disappearance, but would not comment on the pub search.
The force said the investigation was ‘very much active’ and said there was the possibility that further arrests will be made.
Police also said that the 59-year-old man arrested in May on suspicion of murdering Ms Lawrence remained on police bail while their enquiries continued.
Ms Lawrence, who lived in Heworth, York, was last seen by colleagues at the University of York on the afternoon of March 18, 2009 when she finished her shift.
She spoke to her parents, Peter and Joan, on the phone that evening but has not been seen since despite a huge police hunt.
Police issued a tweet saying: ‘We are dealing with an ongoing incident at the Acomb Hotel, Kingsway West. Updates will follow when we can.’
Most police at the scene were from North Yorkshire Police but one van was from Durham Police, and officers with dogs and hammer equipment went in to work in the pub.
One local resident said: ‘I was on my way to work at 8am and there was one police car here. When I came back a couple of hours later there were vans, dogs and police in CSI suits.’
Another local resident said police were ‘swarming’ around the area shortly after 8am.
Martin Hill, 54, said: ‘I went to bed about 1am and there was nothing going on and when I woke up at 10am I opened my curtains and saw police cars and vans everywhere.
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Police today descended on The Acomb pub in York in connection with the hunt for the missing chef +8
Police today descended on The Acomb pub in York in connection with the hunt for the missing chef
Officers spent all day examining the pub on the west side of the city +8
Officers spent all day examining the pub on the west side of the city
Police would not comment on the pub search, which began at 8am today in York +8
Police would not comment on the pub search, which began at 8am today in York
Search: Police were searching the pub which is three miles from where Miss Lawrence lived +8
Search: Police were searching the pub which is three miles from where Miss Lawrence lived
‘I have lived here for 13 years and you get the occasional noisy night, but there’s never been any major trouble in the pub. I have never seen this much activity outside the pub before so it was quite surprising.’
Sheila Overall, 54, a grandmother of four, said: ‘We got up about 8am and the police were everywhere. I was up and down through the night, but I never heard anything.
‘We get a lot of police around this area and there’s usually something going off down the street, but I didn’t expect this.
‘When you see police about you think it must be serious.’
Police search York pub in hunt for missing chef Claudia Lawrence
Police officers leave The Acomb Pub in York after searching the premises earlier today +8
Police officers leave The Acomb Pub in York after searching the premises earlier today
Most of the officers on the scene were from North Yorkshire Police but one van was from the Durham force +8
Most of the officers on the scene were from North Yorkshire Police but one van was from the Durham force
TIMELINE: KEY DATES IN THE CLAUDIA LAWRENCE INVESTIGATION
Ms Lawrence was last seen on May 18, 2009 when she was last seen by colleagues at the University of York +8
Ms Lawrence was last seen on May 18, 2009 when she was last seen by colleagues at the University of York
5.57am – Miss Lawrence is captured on CCTV arriving for work at the University of York’s Goodricke College.
2.31pm – The chef leaves work to walk the three miles to her home on Heworth Road. A female colleague sees her as she drives past in her car and gives her a lift, dropping her off outside her house.
3.05pm – The last sighting of Miss Lawrence as she walks back to her house.
8.10pm – Miss Lawrence has a telephone conversation with her father, Peter, and then another with her mother, Joan.
8.23pm – She sends a text message to a friend.
9.12pm – Miss Lawrence receives a text on her mobile phone but it is not known if she read the message.
6am – Miss Lawrence fails to arrive for her shift at work.
Detectives say they are treating Miss Lawrence’s disappearance as a suspected murder
Police reveal Ms Lawrence spent the night with a mystery boyfriend just two days before she went missing. It was ‘critical’ they spoke to the man, a detective adds.
Police confirm they have spent two days searching a house about 10 miles from Claudia’s home as a result of a ‘recent development’.
Police confirm they are scaling back the number of officers dedicated to the inquiry.
On the second anniversary of Miss Lawrence’s disappearance, Detective Superintendent Ray Galloway reveals that he could have ‘potentially’ spoken to her killer.
Peter Lawrence speaks of his daily pain over his daughter’s disappearance and makes a plea for anyone who may still harbour a sense of ‘misguided loyalty’ to come forward and help with the police investigation.
Police announce that a new forensic search of Miss Lawrence’s home is to begin as they launch a fresh review of the case.
Mr Lawrence, speaking ahead of the fifth anniversary of his daughter’s disappearance, says not knowing what happened to his daughter five years after she disappeared is like a ‘cancer’ eating away at him.
Police say a new forensic examination of Claudia’s house has uncovered the fingerprints of people who still have not come forward five years after she disappeared. They say they are seeking to trace two men and two vehicles seen near her home.
A 59-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of murder by detectives investigating the disappearance.
A 46-year-old man is arrested on suspicion on perverting the course of justice.
– Harriet Arkell