On Wednesday March 18 in the year 2009 when one Barack Hussein Obama II was the 44th President of the United States, an ambitious ‘Crooked Hillary’ was biding her time as Secretary of State and with Prime Minister Brown’s popularity on an ever downward trajectory – the architect of Brexit, David Cameron was loitering on the benches as the Conservative Leader of the Opposition.
With music from Kelly Clarkson, Lady Ga Ga, Kings of Leon and a youthful Taylor Swift dominating the airwaves, television aficionados were looking forward to the finale in the second series of Mistresses which had been following the drama surrounding the illicit relationships of four friends.
There was cinematic excitement for the release of Sunshine Cleaning, the comedy drama starring Emily Blunt and theatre luvvies were mourning the sudden death of actress Natasha Richardson at the age of 45.
And on an unseasonably warm afternoon, a 35 year old attractive woman was spotted walking towards her home in the Heworth area of York at 3.05 pm – only to be never seen again.
The disappearance of Claudia Elizabeth Lawrence over ten years ago continues to be one of the most baffling missing person cases in recent memory.
For with an estimated cost of over a million pounds, thousands of statements and interviews; along with the hundreds of searches and inquiries and a handful of arrests – North Yorkshire Police can seemingly offer no clue as to her fate.
Along with Lord ‘Lucky’ Lucan who vanished into the ether one cold November evening in 1974 after the murder of his children’s nanny Sandra Rivett and Suzy Lamplugh who disappeared one July afternoon in 1986 – Claudia has apparently evaporated without trace.
Although the investigation into her disappearance has been extensive and highly publicized, it has not been without controversy nor resentment and despite an effective media campaign orchestrated by her father Peter Lawrence and revealing interviews with her close friends Suzy Cooper and Jen King – Claudia remains a complex victim.
However, let’s take a look at what we DO know about Wednesday March 18 2009.
At approximately 2.30pm having finished her shift as a chef at York University and with jacket in hand and a blue and grey Karrimor rucksack slung over her left shoulder – Claudia left the Roger Kirk Centre situated on the western campus of York University to begin the walk home to Heworth, a pleasant suburb of Heworth.
With her car in the garage for repair, Claudia was taking advantage of the glorious weather by walking to and from work each day.
The walk takes her through the leafy campus and along University Road to Melrosegate and at 2.47pm – she is spotted dropping something into the post box.
At some point during her walk along Melrosegate, Claudia makes a telephone call to her mother Joan and having accepted a lift to Heworth Road from a female colleague – she arrives home at 2.45pm.
However, it would appear that Claudia did not stay at home for long as she is spotted by friend Linda Chapman walking along Heworth Road in the direction of her home at 3.05pm.
This will be the last confirmed sighting of Claudia before she disappears forever behind the colourful green door of number 46.
Around 8.15pm later that evening and after a call to her father Peter, she telephones Joan for the second time to make plans for Mothers Day and they enjoy a chat about the television program Location Location Location which they are both watching.
At 8.23pm, she sends a final text message to a friend and although she will receive another text at 9.12pm – we have no way of knowing if she actually saw this message.
And as the hours of Wednesday March 18 2009 tick by with the promise of another glorious Spring day to follow – what manner of darkness is falling around the green door of number 46?