Call for DNA testing in district identified in Claudia Lawrence investigation

Darlington and Stockton Times: Chief Superintendent Simon Mason and Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn (right) at a press conference last week Chief Superintendent Simon Mason and Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn (right) at a press conference last week

DNA testing has been called for on men living in a district where Claudia Lawrence was known to have spent time prior to her disappearance.

Last week police revealed a series of fresh leads as a result of a case review into the York chef’s disappearance five years ago, carried out by the force’s relaunched Major Crime Unit.

Some of the new information to emerge from the review was that Miss Lawrence had been spending time in the Acomb area of York in the weeks before she disappeared. The discovery was made following analysis of signals from her mobile phone. The silver Samsung D900 phone has never been found.

Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, head of the crime unit, said last week he believed her phone was deliberately turned off by someone at about 12.10pm on March 19, 2009.

At a press conference, he also said they would like to know who she was socialising with in Acomb and where she had been going. The area is situated on the other side of the city from her home in Heworth.

Martin Dales, a friend and spokesman for Claudia’s father, Peter Lawrence, said he thought it “would be sensible for the police to DNA test men living in that area”.

He said as far as he knew, her family were not aware she had any friends in Acomb and the investigation appeared to have gained a new momentum.

Detectives also revealed last week they have the DNA profile of a man taken from a cigarette butt found in Miss Lawrence's Vauxhall Corsa, which was in a garage for repairs when she disappeared.

Fingerprints and DNA evidence belonging to other people yet to come forward have also been found in her home, as a result of a forensic re-examination of Miss Lawrence’s home towards the end of last year.

An appeal by North Yorkshire Police on BBC’s Crimewatch last week resulted in 20 calls to the force, which investigators are currently following up.

North Yorkshire Police have not commented on whether they are considering random DNA testing.

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