Sarah Everard death: Claudia Lawrence mum 'desperately thinking' of family

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Image source, North Yorkshire Police
Image caption,
Police believe Claudia Lawrence was murdered despite her body never being found

The mother of Claudia Lawrence, who disappeared exactly 12 years ago, has said she is "desperately thinking of" the parents of Sarah Everard.

Joan Lawrence's daughter failed to arrive for work at York University on 18 March 2009. Police believe she was murdered, despite no body being found.

Mrs Lawrence said she cried when she heard about Sarah Everard going missing while walking home in south London.

She added: "I just wanted to give her mum a hug."

Image caption,
Joan Lawrence said she understood the pain Sarah Everard's family would be going through

Ms Everard, 33, who was originally from York, disappeared on 3 March after visiting a friend in Clapham. Her body was found in woodland near Ashford in Kent a week later.

PC Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with her murder and kidnap.

Mrs Lawrence, from Malton, in North Yorkshire, said the case had brought back painful memories of when daughter Claudia, 35, went missing.

She said when she heard about Sarah Everard: "I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. I was just thinking of the family. It was a very bad week and I was very low."

Image caption,
Sarah Everard had been walking to her home in Brixton when she disappeared

Mrs Lawrence said she planned to write to Ms Everard's parents and believed it was essential they had someone to talk to.

She said in the early days after her daughter's disappearance she had no support from people who understood what she was experiencing.

"I had a house full of people...but even though it was full of people, you feel on your own. The phone rings all the time, but it's the emptiness."

Mrs Lawrence said she still thought her daughter's disappearance was a "bad dream" and hoped one day she would return.

"If I give up hope, I give up all together. It's another year and I've got to go forward and see potential in it and see what it can bring.

"People are still coming forward with information after all this time," she added.

Claudia Lawrence's case is now being looked after by Supt Wayne Fox, from North Yorkshire Police, who took charge of the investigation in October.

He said there were likely to be several people out there who either knew, or had strong suspicions, about what happened and urged them to get in touch.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Peter Lawrence, seen here on the 10th anniversary of his daughter's disappearance, died in February

"For whatever reason, they have maintained a silence for 12 years. That is an awfully long time to carry such a burden of guilt.

"The longer you carry it, the greater the anguish you are causing to Claudia's family and friends," he said.

To date, nine people have been questioned by police in relation to Ms Lawrence's disappearance, but no charges have ever been brought.

Her father, Peter Lawrence, 74, died last month without finding out what had happened to her.

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