“We’re all back to square one”: charges dropped in Claudia Lawrence case

Murder charges have been dropped against four men accused over the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence, the University of York chef who vanished near campus seven years ago.

The four men, in their 50s, were arrested last year after a fresh review of the first investigation.

Her family reported her missing in 2009 when she did not turn up to her shift at a campus restaurant. A spokesperson Lawrence’s father tonight called the news “depressing.”

He praised the police for working “tirelessly,” but said: "it is nearly the seventh anniversary of Claudia disappearing and it seems that we're all back to square one.”

North Yorkshire Police say they think she was murdered, but her body has never been found.

Officers have said they still believe people know what happened to her. Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn said he had reached the “inescapable conclusion that this case could still be solved if only people were honest with us.

"Nearly seven years on since the 35-year-old University of York chef went missing, the lack of data, CCTV and other evidence from the time have frustrated the efforts of review team.”

Malyn said “the most important person to trace” was an individual filmed on a security camera near Lawrence’s address on the night she went missing.

The police, he said, “will never give up on Claudia” and “the case will remain open.”