Monday, July 16, 2012

Missing People:Missing Chef ' Seen In Amsterdam'

Claudia Lawrence went missing in March 2009
Claudia Lawrence went missing in March 2009

The father of missing university chef Claudia Lawrence has welcomed the "first sighting we've had for ages" as a sign his daughter has not been forgotten.

Miss Lawrence, who would now be 38, has not been seen since she failed to turn up for work at York University in March 2009.

Martin Dales, the spokesman for Miss Lawrence's father, Peter, said a former private detective has contacted him to say he spotted someone with a striking resemblance to her a week ago in Amsterdam.

Mr Dales said the information has been passed on to North Yorkshire Police for following-up with their Dutch counterparts.

In a statement, Mr Dales said: "We are very grateful to all members of the public who remain vigilant in supporting both the Police and the family's attempts to find out what has happened to Claudia. We don't know if this is a sighting of Claudia or not but we trust that it will be fully checked out."

Mr Dales told ITV Calendar News: "The fact that the gentleman in question phoned me up to tell me about this and then followed it up with an email with the detail of the timings, where he was and the fact that his work had been in investigative sort of things means that people are aware."

He added: "Whether or not it'll lead to anything I don't know, but it's the first sighting we've had for ages."

The chef was last seen on March 18, 2009 near her home in Heworth, York. She never turned up for work the next morning in the university kitchen.

North Yorkshire Police launched a huge inquiry which has subsequently been scaled back. Detectives have said repeatedly they believe Miss Lawrence has been murdered.

A police spokeswoman said: "The investigation to discover what has happened to Claudia remains ongoing and this latest information shows that Claudia is still in the forefront of people's minds."

I ONLY hope sooner or later the Lawrence family realize they are being used by someone they 'thought' of as a friend.

Missing Maddie ' seen in Amsterdam'

The encounter between the girl and a Dutch woman in Amsterdam was reported to the Portuguese police in June last year but only disclosed to the public in files released on Monday.
The McCanns were never told about the sighting, despite going to the city last June to raise awareness about their missing daughter.
They have no idea if the lead was followed up by Portuguese police and their private investigators are now looking into the lead.
The couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "If it was Madeleine, it was a disgrace that it was not passed on. We need to know what happened with this.
"It is one of the mysteries of the whole thing and it is tragic that it should come this late on."
Anna Maria Stam, 41, was working in a shop which sold balloons and fancy dress at the beginning of May last year – before she heard the news about Madeleine.
She saw a Portuguese looking man and woman with a French accent walk in with a boy aged six and an eight-year-old girl.
Watching the seemingly happy group, she spotted another little girl, aged about three with shoulder length brown hair, standing nearby.
Her witness statement said: "The little girl stood before me and asked me in English: 'Do you know where my Mummy is?'
"I answered that her mother was a little bit further back in the shop and she answered: 'She is not my Mummy.'
"I asked her who the woman was, and she said: 'She is a stranger, she took me from my Mummy.' I noticed the little girl spoke good English without an accent.
"Next I asked the little girl what her name was and she said: 'My name is Maggie.'
"When I repeated it, the little girl said, 'No, my name is Maddy'. I still remember that because I thought it was a rare name which you didn't often hear.
"I then asked her where she had last seen her mother and she answered: 'They took me from my holiday.'"
The little girl then left with the woman. When Miss Stam saw Madeleine's picture on the internet, she said: "We thought it was very much like the little girl except the colour of the hair."
She spoke to Dutch police on June 18 but it is not known whether the lead was followed up.
Mr Mitchell said: "It is shocking, it is harrowing to read this account, whether it was Madeleine or not. It is harrowing to hear a child saying that.
"We need to know if it was followed up properly by the police. If that hasn't been done, that is exactly the kind of information that the private investigators are going to follow up.
"It is frustrating beyond words and the worst thing is that all this time Madeleine has been let down by this lack of apparent co-ordination."
Other possible sightings have also emerged in the files. Several CCTV images of a little girl are among the dossier.
The first, take in a petrol station near Praia da Luz on May 4, shows a young girl holding hands with a woman, but the image was shown to the McCanns that night and quickly ruled out.
A second image shows a girl at a Repsol petrol station in Vale Paraiso, Albufeira, also on May 4.
This image was not shown to the McCanns, but the owner of the car was traced and thought to be eliminated from the investigation.