The father of missing University of York chef worker Claudia Lawrence has said he is desperate for York St John student Megan Roberts to be found.
The 20-year-old fine arts undergraduate went missing following a night out in popular club Popworld, on George Hudson Street, last Thursday.
She has not been seen since leaving the venue shortly after 2am.
Her mother raised the alarm on Monday after friends had come forward to say they had not seen or heard from her.
Today, the father of Claudia Lawrence, who vanished in 2009, said his “thoughts and prayers” were with the family as police insisted there was no link between the two incidents.
“’My thoughts and prayers are very much with the family and friends of Megan Roberts,” Peter told the Daily Mail.
“The 100-plus hours between when she was last seen early last Thursday morning and the reporting today makes it very difficult for those looking for her, whether police, family or friends as the first few hours of being missing are critical.”
“We hope that she, and any member of the public with information, will make contact if she can and that she will return safely to her family and friends as soon as she can.”
Police search teams are currently searching the River Ouse, including deployment of an underwater search unit, and checking CCTV footage after Miss Roberts was seen with a group of friends on one side of Lendal Bridge at 2.20am but absent from the group a short time later on the other side.
The Superintendent of North Yorkshire Police, Phil Cain, said: “We are a very concerned for Megan’s welfare and are urging the public to help us establish her movements in the early hours of Thursday 23 January 2014.
“As with all missing persons enquiries we are doing everything we can to locate Megan and make sure she is safe and well.
“Her disappearance and the fact that she has not had any contact with her family and friends for almost five days now is extremely unlike her and adds to our concern.
“Megan’s family are understandably very distressed by her disappearance and I would appeal for anyone who has any information at all about where she might be to get in touch with the police as soon as possible.”
He added that there was no evidence to suggest that the 20-year-old had been intoxicated.
A spokesperson for York St John University said that “their thoughts were with Megan’s family at this distressing time.”
They added that they would be assisting the police with their inquiries where possible.
According to reports Twitter, on a separate outing, Megan and her friend were stalked by a “creepy guy” in a bar just days before she vanished.
Her friend, Rockie Alanah Thorley, wrote: “Megan has gone to the toilet and this creepy guy keeps staring at me and winking.
“Me and Megan got up to leave and creepy guy asked us where we were going, even though he hasn’t spoken to us all night…. Ergh creep?
“Sat in a different pub and the creepy guy has just turned up and sat with us and said ‘can’t believe you here’. Wtf go away creep?
“He just told us he’s from Shri Lanka and nobody even asked.. We are not stupid girls so stop following us and go away before I hit you ffs?
“Megan told him our real names the maniac, this is so awkward he’s hovering around us pls just go?
“I just said to Megan that my phone might die and the creepy guy just said ‘I have 3 AA batteries if you like’ wtf I can’t cope with this?”
Police investigating the tweets say they do not believe they are linked with Miss Roberts’ disappearance. Phil Cain told the Huffington Post: “We are exploring with friends who are aware of a Twitter message, which was commenting around a male in a bar where Megan was at the time.
“Friends are convinced there was nothing to suggest Megan was being stalked at that stage. We do not believe that is connected to Megan’s disappearance.
“At this moment in time there’s no suggestion of any criminality whatsoever and we are treating this as a missing from home.”
Claudia Lawrence was reported missing after she failed to up to work at the University of York almost 5 years ago.
Detectives believe she was murdered but despite an investigation involving 100 officers, she has never been found.
Megan is described as being around 5ft 6inch tall of medium build with long dark brown hair. When she was last seen, she was described as wearing a cream knee length dress and black plimsoll type shoes.
Police have urged anyone with information to contact the North Yorkshire force on 101, selecting option 1 and passing the information on to the Force Control Room.