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Home » Nicola Bulley: Police still believe missing mum fell into river

Nicola Bulley: Police still believe missing mum fell into river

by Finley Hawkins
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Nicola Bulley was last seen by the river in St Michael’s on Wyre

Police have said they are “fully open” to new information about the disappearance of Nicola Bulley but remain convinced she fell in the river.

The 45-year-old was last seen walking her dog in St Michael’s on Wyre in Lancashire 11 days ago.

Police said officers were following about 500 lines of inquiry and were contacting some 700 motorists seen in the area on 27 January.

Detectives have also analysed data from her Fitbit smart watch, they said.

Speaking in a press conference, Supt Sally Riley said thousands of pieces of information had been received from members of the public, with a team of 40 detectives working on the case.

She said: “This is normal in a missing person inquiry and does not indicate that there is any suspicious element to this story.

“The inquiry team remains fully open-minded to any information that may indicate where Nicola is or what happened to her.”

The search has been continuing on the River Wyre

But she added: “All these extensive inquiries however have so far not found anything of note.”

Lancashire Police has been working with the coastguard, fire service and underwater search experts Specialist Group International to search the river and riverbank using sonar, pole cameras and underwater drones.

Supt Riley added: “As I said on Friday, the river is a complex area to search. It’s not a still water, it’s a fast-flowing moving water that is tidal in parts, and this makes it particularly complex.

“We have already discounted particular areas of the river but as they are tidal we have re-searched them to ensure that nothing has been washed back into those searched areas.”

Lancashire Police Supt Sally Riley addressed the media earlier

The detective also criticised amateur investigators reportedly breaking into properties near where Ms Bulley was last seen.

“There are some properties along the riverside which are empty or derelict and while it may be well-intentioned that people think that could be a line of inquiry, I would ask them to desist from doing that,” she said.

“In some cases it may be criminal if they are breaking in, causing damage or committing a burglary.

“We have gone into derelict property, including ones on the riverside, and any under renovation that were empty, with the permission of those owners and their knowledge.”

Supt Riley also repeated a call for people to avoid “distressing” speculation about what may have happened to Ms Bulley.

Ms Bulley’s friend Heather Gibbons earlier said unfounded rumours about the disappearance had been “hard” for the family to deal with and the number of visitors arriving in the area had made it feel like a “tourist spot”.

A search expert earlier said he had not seen a more unusual case in his 20-year career.

Peter Faulding, who has led a team of underwater experts, said: “I would expect to find Nicola in the water right in front of the bench where she went down. This is so strange.”

On Monday Ms Bulley’s partner Paul Ansell issued a fresh appeal for information, saying her children missed their mother desperately.

Ms Bulley had dropped her two daughters, aged six and nine, off at school and then gone on her usual dog walk alongside the river.

Her phone, still connected to a Teams call for her job as a mortgage adviser, was found on a bench on a steep riverbank overlooking the water, along with the dog lead and harness on the ground.

Source : BBC

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