Lancashire: Police are looking into the disappearance of Nicola Bulley and believe that she may have fallen into a river while walking her dog and on a work call. There is no evidence to suggest criminal activity in her disappearance.
Bulley, a 45-year-old mortgage adviser from Inskip in Lancashire, went missing on January 27th while taking her springer spaniel, Willow, for a walk after dropping off her two daughters at school. Her mobile phone and the dog’s lead and harness were found near the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre.
A search operation has been underway since then. During a press conference, Lancashire police Superintendent Sally Riley stated that their main assumption is that Bulley fell into the river and that there is no involvement from a third-party or criminal activity. This is considered a tragic missing person case.
The police emphasized the significance of avoiding speculation in this case as it can be distressing for Nicola’s family and children. Efforts to search for Bulley will continue with the assistance of HM Coastguard, mountain rescue, and Lancashire fire and rescue service. They have employed the use of search dogs, drones, police helicopters, and divers, as well as analyzed Bulley’s phone and reviewed footage from CCTV and dash cameras. The police have also conducted door-to-door searches for information. All witnesses have been identified and CCTV footage has ruled out the possibility of Bulley leaving the area through most exits, however, they are still appealing for more dashcam footage of Garstang Lane leading to the A586.
According to the police, “Based on all the work we have done so far, we are now as confident as we can be that Nicola has not left the field where she was last seen and our working hypothesis is that she has fallen into the river for some reason.” They added that there is no evidence of any suspicious circumstances or third-party involvement in her disappearance and that the investigation remains open.
The police noted that they believe Bulley was able to swim and requested anyone who comes across clothing items potentially belonging to her to come forward. She was wearing a black quilted ankle-length gilet over a black Vector coat with long sleeves, tight black jeans, green walking socks, green wellington boots from Next, a necklace, and a pale-blue Fitbit. Her hair was in a ponytail.
Superintendent Sally Riley stated, “This remains a missing person inquiry and we will continue to carry out searches and to do everything we can to find Nicola and provide her family and the community with the answers they desperately need.” Officers will be in the village and anyone with information or concerns is encouraged to approach them.