A woman resembling Claudia Lawrence has been spotted in Amsterdam, offering new hope to those still searching for the missing chef.
Lawrence (pictured), who would now be 38, has not been seen since she failed to turn up for work at York University in 2009, despite an extensive police search and huge publicity.
But it has emerged that someone bearing a "striking resemblance" to the chef was spotted in the Dutch Capital last week.
The sighting was reported by a former private detective, according to the Daily Mail.
Martin Dales, the spokesman for Miss Lawrence's father, Peter, said Mr Lawrence welcomed the news as a sign his missing daughter "has not been forgotten".
In a statement, 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."
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 e-mail 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."
"Whether or not it'll lead to anything I don't know, but it's the first sighting we've had for ages."
North Yorkshire Police has scaled back what was at one time a huge inquiry into Lawrence's disappearance, and detectives have stated several times that they believe her to have been murdered.
By Caterer Staff
E-mail your comments to Caterer News here.
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs
Blogs on Catererandhotelkeeper.com
Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters