Man with rucksack seen outside Claudia's house during the week she disappeared
The investigation team are appealing for help to locate a man seen on Heworth Road at about 2.30pm on an unknown day the week Claudia went missing.
He was seen walking along the street by a witness who was sat in her car in stationary traffic.
The man is described as white, clean shaven, slim build, 5ft 9in to 5ft 10in tall, aged in his 30s, with very neat dark hair which was brownish and stylishly cut with a fringe. She did not see the man’s full face, only his profile.
He was wearing smart-casual clothing, comprising a mid hip-length, light tan coloured ‘Mac’ type jacket which appeared thin, waterproof and had a hood. He wore smart dark-coloured jeans or trousers and dark-coloured footwear. He was carrying a small dark rucksack over his shoulder which did not appear to have much in it.
The witness recalled that the man was talking animatedly on his mobile phone and was laughing. As he walked along he appeared to be looking for a particular house.
As the man approached a house with a green door, a house which the witness is certain was Claudia’s, the door opened and a woman of similar description to Claudia emerged also on her phone.
The woman appeared shocked at seeing the man. The witness formed the opinion that they were known to each other and he had surprised her with a visit.
The man then appeared dejected and upset to which the woman’s expression softened. After looking up and down the street, she took hold of the man and led him into the house.
Det Supt Malyn said: “This witness account was investigated at the time of Claudia’s disappearance but never formed part of a public appeal for information.
“It is vital that this man is traced and assists the investigation. It appeared to the witness that this visitor was perhaps unexpected so it remains an important line of enquiry to identify who this was.
“If this was you or someone can tell us who he is or his current whereabouts, please do not delay in contacting North Yorkshire Police.”
Update 17 April: The man with the rucksack has yet to be identified. Detectives were disappointed with the response to this appeal and urge people to come forward with any information that could assist in tracing the man.
In particular, they are appealing to those close to Claudia to think who may have been planning a surprise visit or possibly had habit of doing so.