Nicola Bulley disappearance: Police urge people 'not to take law into their own hands'

  • Superintendent Sally Riley has urged people to not speculate as to what may have happened to Nicola and to "not take law into their own hands".

Police have asked for people "not to take the law into their own hands" by breaking into empty properties in the search for missing Nicola Bulley.

The thorough search continues for the 45-year-old after she vanished while walking her dog on Friday 27 January, in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire.

Superintendent Sally Riley has reiterated Lancashire Police's belief that the mother-of-two "tragically fell into the river", despite "frustration" that she has not been found during searches.

She went on to say that the force remain open minded, but said misguided speculation is upsetting for her loved ones - and not helping in the investigation.

Superintendent Sally Riley said at a press conference: “We would ask that people in the wider community, particularly on social media and online, do not speculate as to what may have happened to Nicola.

“This is particularly hurtful to her family, to her children, to her partner Paul, to her parents, her sister and her friends because it is not helpful to them, it is distressing and it is distracting for the police inquiry."

“Nor is it helpful if people, particularly if they have come from outside of the area, take it upon themselves to take the law into their own hands by trying to, for example, break into empty property,” Supt Riley continued.

“They may mean well, they may want to help. But they can help in thinking back if they were in the area to what information they may have of relevance to the police and holding the family in their thoughts.

She continued to say that 40 detectives are working daily to comb through 500 lines of enquiries.

Nicola Bulley, a mother-of-two, has been missing for more than 10 days. Credit: Lancashire Police

"Our work around the river bank continues. The river is a complex area to search - it's a fast flowing moving water that is tidal in parts.

"We have already discounted particular areas of the river. We have six people searching the river banks every day.

"Throughout this investigation, we remain fully open to any information that is credible and factual to try and trace Nicola and bring answers to her family.

"All these enquiries have not found anything of note - anything of physical objects in the river like debris."

  • Private underwater diver Peter Faulding says his team is "ruling out every possibility" in their search for Nicola.

The search of the river has now extended to the mouth of the river Wyre, as far as Knott End and Morecambe Bay.

Private underwater diver Peter Faulding, and his team from Specialist Group International, have been using a sonar to scan the depths of the river bed.

Mr Faulding has said if his team cannot locate Ms Bulley in the river then she is not there and he would not rule out "third party involvement".

Superintendent Riley went on to say that officers have identified 700 vehicles that drove through the village that morning and in the process of speaking to all of those drivers - to see what they saw that may be of value.

She said: “This is normal in a missing person inquiry and does not indicate that there is any suspicious element to this story.

“The inquiry team remains fully open-minded to any information that may indicate where Nicola is or what happened to her.”

Doorbell footage of Nicola Bulley on the morning of her disappearance. Credit: Lancashire Police

At the time of her disappearance, the mother-of-two was wearing an ankle-length black quilted gilet jacket, a black coat worn underneath the gilet, black jeans, long green socks, ankle-length green wellies and pale blue Fitbit.

Her mobile phone was left, still connected to a work call, on a bench close to the river, as well as a dog lead and harness.

On Tuesday, family and friends said nothing about Nicola's disappearance makes sense and have questioned the police "theory" that she "fell into the water".

Paul Ansell, the partner of the 45-year-old, said that the couple's children "miss their mummy desperately" and "need her back".

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