A man arrested on suspicion of murdering missing chef Claudia Lawrence has been released on bail. North Yorkshire Police arrested the suspect yesterday in connection with Miss Lawrence's disappearance in 2009. A force spokesman said the man, who is aged in his 50s and from the York area, was released on bail "in order to allow detectives time to follow up lines of inquiry".
Searches at a linked property were completed last night, police said. Yesterday, officers could be seen searching a semi-detached house in a quiet cul-de-sac in York. Claudia's family have been informed about today's developments. Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, of North Yorkshire Police, repeated his plea for people not to identify the suspect.
He said: "I am very grateful to the media and the public for supporting my request that this individual should under no circumstances be identified, either in traditional media or on social media platforms. That is because identification is an issue and publishing this man's identity could cause serious harm to my investigation. This continues to be the case, even though the man has been released on bail, and I must ask that the media and public continue to support me and make no attempt to identify him, his place of work or his home address."
Miss Lawrence was reported missing by her father after concerns were raised when she failed to turn up for her 6am shift at work. North Yorkshire Police began reviewing the case in 2013 and have since carried out a number of searches, including a detailed re-examination of Miss Lawrence's home, in the Heworth area of York, and a fingertip search of an alleyway that leads to the rear of the house.
A 60-year-old man was arrested last year in connection with her disappearance and suspected murder but was later released without charge, while a 47-year-old man remains on bail on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. Mr Malyn said he was "actively pursuing new leads" and that his team had made "significant progress" since the force began reviewing the case in 2013.
The detective said some people locally knew Miss Lawrence but have kept their relationship secret and some deliberately lied about a number of issues concerning their association with the chef. Last week, on the sixth anniversary of her disappearance, police released previously unseen CCTV footage of two people seen walking near her home on the evening she went missing.
Miss Lawrence's father, Peter, said yesterday: "It is encouraging to know that, following all the media activity over the last three weeks, from Claudia's 41st birthday to the sixth anniversary of her being missing, North Yorkshire Police continue to be active in seeking answers as to what has happened to Claudia.
"It is to be hoped that the matter can be resolved as soon as possible and I encourage people to continue to come forward with information to the police."