Body found a mile from where missing Nicola Bulley was last seen

  • Claire Hannah reports live from St Michael's on Wyre where police have found a body in the search for missing Nicola Bulley

A body has been found in the search for missing mum Nicola Bulley.

Lancashire Constabulary said a formal identification is yet to be carried out, but the 45-year-old's family have been informed.

The body was found around a mile from where Ms Bulley was last seen walking her dog in St Michael’s on Wyre after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, at school on 27 January.

The location on the River Wyre near St Michael's on Wyre, where police recovered a body. Credit: PA Images

A police spokesman said officers were called to reports of a body in the river close to Rawcliffe Road at around 11:35am on Sunday 19 February.

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

"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."

Former Police Chief Superintendent Parm Sandhu told ITV News: "I believe that they will make an identification quite quickly because Nicola had very distinctive clothing on.

"But we do not know how long she’s been in the water for and, if she’s been in the water for that length of time, how decomposed her body is."

Meanwhile, underwater search expert Peter Faulding, who was called in by Nicola's family to assist the police with the search, has posted on social media: "Our thoughts are with Nicola’s family and friends at this difficult time."

Nicola pictured on a walk with her dog, Willow. Credit: Family photo

The investigation into Nicola's disappearance has attracted widespread speculation as well as criticism of the police response.

The force came under fire after making Ms Bulley’s struggles with alcohol and peri-menopause public three weeks after she vanished.

In a press conference on Wednesday, they revealed the mother-of-two was classed as a "high-risk" missing person immediately after her partner Paul Ansell reported her disappearance, "based on a number of specific vulnerabilities".

The force later added in a statement that Ms Bulley, from Inskip in Lancashire, had stopped taking her HRT medication.

A public backlash and interventions from both the Government and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper followed, with Lancashire Police confirming a date had been set for an internal review into the investigation.

A police spokeswoman said: "A review of the investigation is diarised and will be conducted by our head of crime Detective Chief Superintendent Pauline Stables."

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