Police investigating the disappearance of Nicola Bulley have given an update on the search for the missing dog walker. Nicola, a mother-of-two from Inskip, has now been missing for 11 days after vanishing while walking her dog along the River Wyre in St Michael’s on the morning of Friday, January 27.
At a police press conference held in St Michael’s this afternoon (February 6), Superintendent Sally Riley said despite an extensive search by officers and an underwater search team, “nothing of note” had yet been traced. Supt Riley added that house enquiries had been conducted over the last 11 days and officers had spoken to key witnesses.
Nicola’s Fitbit and her mobile phone, which was discovered on a bench and still connected to a Microsoft Teams call close to where she went missing, have also been examined. Supt Riley added that around 700 vehicles driving through St Michael’s that day have been identified and police are seeking dash cam footage from those drivers.
Police say they maintain the belief that Nicola fell in the river and the case “remains a missing persons inquiry”. But the “river is a complex area to search,” added Supt Riley, “it is not a still water, it is a fast flowing moving water which is tidal in parts.
“This makes it particularly complex,” she continued. “We have already discounted particular areas of the river, but as they are tidal we have re-searched them to make sure nothing has been washed back into those search areas. We have six people searching the river banks every day - these are specially trained search officers who are systematically, methodically searching the river bank and open ground.”
Later on in the press conference, Supt Riley urged members of the public to cease speculation over the case, which has attracted huge media attention. She said: “This is particularly hurtful to her [Nicola’s] family, her children and partner Paul, her sister and her friends.”
Although Lancashire Police are “open” to information, Supt Riley has said that every potential “suspicious or criminal element” that has been raised as a line of enquiry has been “looked at and discounted”. Due to the nature of the River Wyre, the search is now being extended out to sea, in particular the Moorcombe Bay area.
Supt Riley also shared key elements of the case that she said she hoped might jog someone’s memory and fill in some gaps. These are:
- Nicola was last seen on the upper field next to the River Wyre on Friday, January 27 at 9.10am
- She was walking her dog, a brown coloured Spaniel named Willow, at the time
- CCTV shows Nicola did not leave via the allotment lane exit, nor the caravan park, which has been discounted - nor any of the other locked areas covered by CCTV
- This leaves one path which is Garston Lane and not covered by CCTV - drivers who passed this area who may have dash cam footage will help police to close this small gap
There is now a specific email to aid the investigation. Anyone who believes they have any information that could help the investigation should email: [email protected]