Apology for Hoax Message
The father of missing chef Claudia Lawrence says he's accepted an apology from the mother of an internet hoaxer from Didcot, who pretended to be his daughter.
The apology printed in the Oxford Mail included a note from the 18-year-old's mum, saying the whole family was "sickened" by his actions - he'd pretended to be Claudia on a Facebook page.
The hoax message read: "Hi everyone just let you be aware that I am ok and I am safe and sound. Speak to you all soon. Claudia. Xxx.''
Claudia was last seen on March 18, 2009 after leaving work at York University.
She was due to walk the three miles to work for a shift beginning at 6am the following day but she never turned up. Police are now treating her disappearance as murder.
Detective Superintendent Ray Galloway, who is leading the investigation into her disappearance, said: "The posting of this message on Facebook, claiming to be Claudia Lawrence, caused significant anxiety and distress to Claudia's family and also diverted valuable police resources to pursue a line of enquiry that had no value. The investigation into the suspected murder of Claudia Lawrence continues and will do so whilst there are positive lines of enquiry to pursue."
63-year-old Peter Lawrence, from North Yorkshire, said posting the bogus message was a "terrible thing to do'' but the subsequent apology gave him some comfort.