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Nicola Bulley’s friend shares ‘11 facts you may not know’ about disappearance

Tilly Ann hits out at ‘disgusting’ online disinformation

Eleanor Noyce
Wednesday 15 February 2023 11:14 GMT
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‘Vile’ theories over missing Nicola Bulley ‘incredibly hurtful’ for family, friend says

A close friend of missing 45-year-old Nicola Bulley has shared a plea online in an attempt to dispel misinformation about the case.

Tilly Ann, a close friend of the missing mother of two, has outlined 11 pieces of information she feels the public should know about the investigation.

Amid rampant online discussion about the case, Ms Ann has said it is “disgusting” that she has had to issue this statement to curb online sleuths.

With the permission of Ms Bulley’s “incredibly close” family before posting, she notes that the only CCTV camera “that would have seen everything” was not working at the time of the missing woman’s disappearance.

Ms Ann also confirms that both Ms Bulley and her partner, Paul Ansell, mostly work from home, which explains why he was there the day she went missing.

With CCTV lining their house, Ms Bulley’s friend said that “there is a reason why Paul has never been a suspect.”

“Family and friends need these accusations to stop immediately”, she wrote.

“That fact that I’ve had to write this is disgusting.”

According to Ms Ann, Ms Bulley is an “incredibly strong swimmer” and both she and Mr Ansell complete this walk regularly. He is “very well known in the community” and “very well recognised.”

Lancashire Police has recently confirmed that their current primary working hypothesis is that Ms Bulley fell into the River Wyre, perhaps in pursuit of a tennis ball thrown for her dog.

Nicola Bulley, 45, was last seen walking her dog, Willow, by the banks of the River Wyre on the morning of Friday 27 January (Supplied)

However, another close friend, Emma White, has dismissed suggestions the mother-of-two would have been carrying such a ball in the first place.

“Willow used to love a tennis ball, but it used to disturb the walk so they haven’t had the tennis ball since way into last year”, Ms White told Sky News. “There was definitely no ball.”

Ms Ann’s social media post supports Ms White’s contention.

The couple “rarely” take the tennis ball out on walks with Willow as she is “very protective” over it, Ms Ann writes.

Map detailing Nicola Bulley’s last known movements (Datawrapper/The Independent)

The 11 facts reiterated by Tilly Ann concerning the disappearance of Nicola Bulley are as follows:

1. Paul Ansell and Nicola Bulley mostly work from home, which is why he was there that day.

2. They both walk the route in question regularly and Paul is very well known in the community and very well recognised.

3. The dog usually does not have her harness on for a portion of the walk. Mr Ansell and Ms Bulley remove it at the gate of the top field and then put it back on again when they leave.

4. Mr Ansell and Ms Bulley rarely take the ball out for walks with Willow now as she is very protective over it and it has not made an appearance on walks in a while.

5. Ms Bulley would often put her phone on loudspeaker while talking.

6. Willow was found very close to the bench and the harness. The harness was found on the floor, not on the bench.

7. Ms Bulley is an incredibly strong swimmer.

8. Ms Bulley drove to the school to drop her two daughters off, left her car there and walked to the river.

9. The dog was dry when found by a member of the public.

10. The dog has since returned.

11. There is CCTV at the back of the caravan park. However, the only camera that was not working is the one that would have seen everything.

Following Ms Bulley’s disappearance on the morning of Friday 27 January, Lancashire Police subsequently launched a missing person investigation.

The force insists it is not currently being treated as a “suspicious” case.

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