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19th Feb 2023

Police find body in search for missing mother Nicola Bulley

Charlie Herbert

The 45-year-old went missing on 27 January

Police searching for missing mum-of-two Nicola Bully have found a body.

In a statement, Lancashire Police said: “This morning, Sunday, 19 February, you may be aware of police activity around the river near to St Michaels. We want to provide you with an update on that activity.

“We were called today at 11:36 am to reports of a body in the River Wyre, close to Rawcliffe Road.

“An underwater search team and specialist officers have subsequently attended the scene, entered the water and have sadly recovered a body.

“No formal identification has yet been carried out, so we are unable to say whether this is Nicola Bulley at this time.

“Procedures to identify the body are ongoing. We are currently treating the death as unexplained.

“Nicola’s family have been informed of developments and our thoughts are with them at this most difficult of times. We ask that their privacy is respected.”

The news comes after roads were closed off near the scene where she went missing.

Divers were examining the scene less than a mile from where the mum-of-two was last seen in St Michaels on Wyre, Lancashire, on January 27.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith has also arrived at the riverside.

A man and a woman were earlier seen pointing to a spot in the River Wyre, while police drones and a helicopter could also be seen overhead.

The force sealed off nearby roads after receiving a call at around 11.50 am, it is understood.

A photographer at the scene said: “It all happened so fast. Police have sealed all the roads off. It’s fair to say a massive search is underway.”

Nicola was last seen walking her cocker spaniel along the River Wyre, Lancashire, at 9.10am on January 27, having earlier dropped her daughters, aged six and nine, at school. Lancashire Police’s “main working hypothesis” was that she accidentally fell into the river.

At a press conference on Wednesday, detective superintendent Smith criticised the press and public for “misconstruing” her statement that her “main hypothesis” was that Nicola had fallen in the river.

At the same press conference, Lancashire Police said social media sleuths and “TikTokers playing private detectives” near the scene had distracted search efforts.

Detective Superintendent Smith said investigating officers have been “inundated with false information, accusations and rumours” relating to the case.

The force also chose to reveal that Nicola was deemed “high risk” due to “vulnerabilities” she had. Whilst they declined to give more information about this at the time out of respect for the privacy of the family, it was later revealed that she had alcohol issues as a result of struggles with the menopause.

Lancashire Police has since been roundly criticised for the decision to reveal this private information, with many wondering what point this served in regards to the case and accusing the police of trying to shift the focus away from them.

Related links:

Dog walker who found Nicola Bulley’s phone speaks out for the first time
Lancashire police to be questioned over Nicola Bulley case
Nicola Bulley’s friend says police shared her alcohol struggles to ‘shift focus’ off them


Related links:


nicola bulley