Mother of two Nicola, 45, was last seen walking her dog at St Michael’s by the River Wyre when she went missing on the morning of January 27. Nicola’s phone was connected to a work call and later found on a bench while her dog, Willow, was found running freely nearby in an “agitated state”.
Lancashire Police now believe Nicola “sadly fell into the river”. Superintendent Sally Riley told the media at a press conference on Friday afternoon that “it is our working hypothesis that she accidentally fell into the water”.
“I do have an update on the clothing that Nicola was last seen wearing, and this is something that the public who live in the area, or who walk their dogs on the river path near to St Michael’s or downstream of St Michael’s towards Morecambe Bay, can look out for.
“They are an ankle-length black quilted gilet jacket, a black Engelbert Strauss waist-length coat which was worn underneath the gilet, tight-fitting black jeans, long green walking socks tucked into her jeans, ankle-length green Next wellies, a necklace and a pale blue Fitbit,” she said.
The disappearance has left the country and Nicola’s family baffled. Nicola was said to be in good spirits before she vanished, leaving her parents living in “perpetual Hell” and believing that something terrible has happened to their daughter.
Nicola’s partner, Paul Ansell, has said he is focussing on staying strong for their two daughters while the search continues. He said: "We’re never going to lose the hope. But, right now, it is as though she has vanished into thin air. It’s just insane.
"Every single scenario comes to a brick wall. Every single one of them. All we are doing is sitting there going round and round and round, going through every scenario,” added Mr. Ansell.
Nicola Bulley disappearance: A full timeline of events so far
- Friday January 27 - Police issue a missing person plea following the disappearance of Nicola Bulley. Nicola is last seen at around 9.15am on a footpath by the river off Garstang Road. It is understood she dropped her two daughters off at school before setting off on her walk.
- Saturday January 28 - An underwater police search begins at the bank of River Wyre.
- Sunday January 29 - Police urge people looking for Nicola not to put themselves in danger as parts of the riverbank can be treacherous.
- Monday January 30 - Police renew their appeal for the public’s help in tracing Nicola.
- Tuesday January 31 - Locals continue to rally together in organised searches for Nicola.
- Wednesday February 1 - Team search an “abandoned house” in a bid to find Nicola
- Thursday February 2 - Detectives say they still do not believe a third party is involved in Nicola’s disappearance.
- Friday February 3 - Nicola Bulley’s partner, Paul Ansell, says they are not giving up hope as the search continues.
- Friday February 3 - Superintendent Sally Riley tells media during a press reference that “it is our working hypothesis that she accidentally fell into the water”.