We wanted to give you an update on the search for Nicola Bulley and to give you some more detail on what we have been doing to try and find her.
It’s now a week since the mum of two went missing and since last Friday we have been carrying out extensive searches in the area along with many other enquiries in the background.
This work has included
- Extensive and thorough searches of the river and footpaths by specialist police search teams and partner agencies including HM Coastguard, mountain rescue and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. Resources have included specialist search dogs, drone, police helicopter and divers. These searches are continuing.
- A team of detectives working behind the scenes analysing telephony, house to house, CCTV, dashcam and carrying out other digital enquiries and examining information coming into the inquiry
- Several public appeals for information and to trace witnesses. Key witnesses have all now been traced. We are grateful to the media for all their coverage and to the community for their help, information and support.
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. There is no evidence whatsoever that there is anything suspicious about her disappearance or any third-party involvement in her going missing. Our investigation remains open and we will of course act on any new information which comes to light.
Nicola’s family are being supported by specially trained officers and we are keeping them fully updated.
Nicola, 45, was last seen on Friday morning (January 27th) at around 9.20am on the footpath by the river off Garstang Road.
Nicola is white, 5ft 3ins tall, with light brown shoulder-length hair. She speaks with an Essex accent. She was last seen wearing a long, ankle length black quilted gilet. She had a black Vector coat underneath which had long sleeves and came to her waist. She was wearing tight black jeans and had long green walking socks tucked into her jeans. She was wearing ankle length green wellington boots from Next.
Her hair was tied into a ponytail. She was wearing a necklace and pale blue fitbit.
Supt Sally Riley said: “It’s now a week since Nicola went missing and her disappearance has understandably caused a huge amount of concern and upset in the local community, as well as being an absolutely awful time for her family. As a mum I can’t begin to imagine the suffering they are going through. We are supporting them as best we can and keeping them updated on our efforts to try and find Nicola.
“We have done a huge amount of work both in terms of searches of the area as well as extensive enquiries which have been going on behind the scenes and based on that work we are as sure as we can be that Nicola has not left the area where she was last seen and that very sadly for some reason she has fallen into the water.
“There is absolutely nothing to suggest from all the extensive enquiries we have made that anything untoward has happened to her or that there is any third-party involvement in her disappearance.
“This remains a missing person enquiry 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 and around the village and anyone with information or concerns should feel free to approach us.”
We can now confirm the following timings from the morning Nicola was last seen:
8.43am – Nicola walked along the path by the River Wyre, having dropped her children off at school
8:50am (approximately) - A dog-walker – somebody who knows Nicola – saw her walking around the lower field with her dog. Their two dogs interacted briefly before the witness left the field via the river path
8.53am – She sent an email to her boss
9.01am – She logged into a Teams call
9.10am (approximately) – A witness – somebody who knows Nicola – saw her on the upper field walking her dog, Willow. Work is ongoing today to establish exactly what time this was.
9.30am – The Teams call ended but Nicola stayed logged on
9.35am (approximately) – Nicola’s mobile phone and Willow were found at a bench by the river by another dog-walker.
Anybody who has seen Nicola, or has information about where she might be, is asked to call 101, quoting log 565 of January 30th. For immediate sightings please call 999.