Missing dog walker Nicola Bulley’s final text before she disappeared revealed

The 45-year-old mother of two arranged a playdate with a friend just minutes before she disappeared

Eleanor Noyce
Tuesday 21 February 2023 05:38 GMT
Nicola Bulley’s sister says she feels ‘stuck in nightmare’

Missing dog walker Nicola Bulley’s final text before she “vanished into thin air” has been revealed.

The desperate search for missing mother Nicola Bulley may have come to an end after a body was found in the river near where she vanished. A man and woman walking their dog on Sunday morning found the body and called police.

The 45-year-old was last seen walking her dog by the river in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, on Friday 27 January. She was still logged into a Microsoft Teams call which had ended at 9.30am when her phone was recovered.

Just half an hour earlier, the mother of two had texted a friend to book a playdate. She sent the message at 8.57am shortly before logging into the Teams call, locals at a village meeting were told.

Ms Bulley had just dropped her two daughters, aged six and nine, at school on Friday morning.

The last known sighting of Ms Bulley was at 9.10am. Some 25 minutes later, her phone and the dog’s harness were found on a riverside bench. Her springer spaniel, Willow, appeared distressed.

Her Strava account shows that the route where she was last seen was one she frequently used, as she often shared photos of her riverside runs with Willow.

On average, it would take her 30 minutes to complete her regular route and return to her car. She had parked in the same spot about “1000 times over” throughout the years, her family have said.

In November, Ms Bulley had described her morning dog walk as a “bit spooky” amidst the winter weather in a Facebook post. “A very foggy cold walk this morning, not a day to forget your gloves. Bit spooky too!”, she shared. “Set me up for the day though and Willow had the best time!”

In the quiet Lancashire village where she went missing, local women have said they are “fearful of going out”, 67-year-old witness Christine Bowman told the Daily Mirror.

“It has made local women fearful. If they have husbands or partners, they have been taking the dogs out instead”, Ms Bowman, a retired teacher, remarked.

Meanwhile, Lancashire Police have urged the public not to spread misinformation, “speculate or spread false rumours” about the case amidst a plethora of “unanswered questions” about the case.

Following her mysterious disappearance, Ms Bulley’s family have pleaded for information. “Something has got to have been missed. Somebody must know something”, her sister, Louise Cunningham, told Sky News. “People don’t just vanish into thin air.”

Nicola’s father, Ernie Bulley, said that Nicola’s young daughters believe it is “only a matter of time” before their mother returns home.

“There are two young children there waiting for their mummy to come back and we want her back obviously also, but if Nicola is out. There, if she’s watching this, then all we’d like to say is: ‘Come home, contact the police, contact ourselves and we just want you back’”, Mr Bulley said.

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