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Nicola Bulley news – latest: Divers return to river where missing mother’s body was found

Inquest into Ms Bulley’s death to be held in June

Emily Atkinson
Wednesday 12 April 2023 14:03 BST
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Related video: Suspected area of River Wyre where body was found during search for Nicola Bulley

Police divers have returned to the stretch of river where mother-of-two Nicola Bulley vanished.

The 45-year-old’s body was pulled from the River Wye, Lancashire in February, but a number of questions have been left unanswered.

A diving team was seen in the water not far from a weir and downstream from a bench where police believe Ms Bulley went into the water in St Michael’s on Wyre on 27 January.

Police divers were spotted in the River Wyre on 4 April and a brief clip was uploaded to YouTube. Lancashire Police said in a statement: “We can confirm we are carrying out some work on the direction of HM coroner.”

Ms Bulley vanished while walking her dog after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, at school –sparking a huge search operation and intense media and public interest.

Her body was found in the river 23 days after she went missing, around a mile farther downstream from the bench on February 19.

An inquest into Ms Bulley’s death is to be held on 26 June.

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Police divers return to River Wyre six weeks after body of missing mother found

Police divers have returned to the River Wyre six weeks after Nicola Bulley’s body was found in the water.

Footage has been shared on social media showing the divers in the water.

Officers are seen wading through the water next to the weir close to where the 45-year-old’s phone and her dog Willow were found on the morning she disappeared on 27 January.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley has the details:

Nicola Bulley: Police divers return to river after body of missing mother found

The mother of two went missing on 27 January prompting a three week search

Emily Atkinson11 April 2023 14:51
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Recap: Timeline of Nicola Bulley’s disappearance

A body was found in the search for Nicola Bulley after a tip-off by members of the public in February.

The 45-year-old, was last seen on Friday 27 January at around 9.20am while walking her dog alongside the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire.

Ms Bulley’s phone was found, apparently still connected to a Microsoft Teams work call, on a park bench nearby, along with the harness and lead for her dog, Willow, a springer spaniel.

Her body was found in the river 23 days after she went missing, around a mile farther downstream from the bench on 19 February.

Questions still hang over the circumstances of the protracted search for Ms Bulley as we await the results of an inquest and a long list of investigations.

In the meantime, here is a timeline of how the case unfolded:

Timeline of Nicola Bulley disappearance as body found in search for missing woman

The 45-year-old mortgage advisor went missing on January 27

Emily Atkinson11 April 2023 15:07
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YouTuber spots divers wading through River Wyre

Police divers were spotted wading through the River Wyre on 4 April and a brief clip was uploaded to YouTube.

The diving team was seen in the water not far from a weir and downstream from a bench where police believe Ms Bulley went into the water in St Michael’s on Wyre on 27 January.

In a statement shared today, Lancashire Police said: “We can confirm we are carrying out some work on the direction of HM coroner.”

Footage shared to social media by YouTuber Maria Solarz shows the divers returning to the scene, with one diver filmed “floating on his back” along a stretch of river.

Ms Solarz shot the video while on a “nice quiet walk” with her son and friend.

The divers are seen wading through the waist-level water before floating down the river near a weir, close to where the mother-of-two went missing.

Emily Atkinson11 April 2023 15:25
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Map: Where police searched – and where a body was found – after Nicola Bulley’s disappearance

A map showing the exact location where a body was found in the search for missing dog walker Nicola Bulley, compared to where she was last seen and where her phone was found has been released.

Martha McHardy reports:

Map shows where police searched and where body was found in Nicola Bulley search

Ms Bulley was last seen walking along the towpath near Allotment Lane at around 9am on 27 January

Emily Atkinson11 April 2023 15:55
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Three reasons why it may have taken so long to find Nicola Bulley’s body

A body belonging to missing mother Nicola Bulley was finally found on 19 February, around a mile away from where she was last seen on the river in St Michael’s on Wyre in Lancashire.

Ms Bulley had disappeared on 27 January while walking her dog Willow after dropping her children off at school earlier that morning.

Police said two walkers, who used a path well trodden by officers, found her body, which was formally identified the following day.

Matt Mathers reports:

Three reasons why it may have taken so long to find Nicola Bulley’s body

Missing mother-of-two discovered in stretch of river already searched by police

Emily Atkinson11 April 2023 16:30
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Social media algorithms fuelled online interest in Nicola Bulley case – experts

Social media algorithms that reward and encourage controversial content fuelled the waves of online interest in the Nicola Bulley case, experts have claimed.

More here:

Social media algorithms fuelled online interest in Nicola Bulley case – experts

Social media experts have said platforms whose algorithms reward engagement drove ‘amateur sleuths’ and conspiracy theorists to discuss the case.

Emily Atkinson11 April 2023 17:05
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Man, 34, arrested over footage shot inside police cordon

A man was arrested last month over footage shot from inside a police cordon on the day Nicola Bulley’s body was found in the River Wyre.

The 34-year-old man from Kidderminster was arrested on suspicion of malicious communications offences and perverting the course of justice in connection with the investigation to find Ms Bulley.

My colleague Martha McHardy has the full report:

Man arrested over footage shot inside Nicola Bulley police cordon

Man arrested on suspicion of malicious communications offences

Andy Gregory11 April 2023 17:47
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Nicola Bulley inquest to be held on 26 June

The inquest into Nicola Bulley’s death is scheduled to take place on 26 June at County Hall in Preston.

Confirming the presence of officers at the River Wyre some six weeks after her body was discovered on 19 February, Lancashire Police said it had been “carrying out some work on the direction of HM coroner”.

Andy Gregory11 April 2023 18:19
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Timeline of Nicola Bulley disappearance as police search river weeks after body found

We have compiled this up-to-date timeline of events in the days, weeks and months since Nicola Bulley’s disappearance:

Timeline of Nicola Bulley disappearance as police search river ahead of inquest

Missing mother’s body was found in February - police have now returned to the scene in St Michael’s on Wyre

Andy Gregory11 April 2023 18:51
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What do we know about events on 27 January

At 8.26am on 27 January, Nicola Bulley left her home with her two daughters, dropping them off at school and engaging in a brief conversation with another parent around 15 minutes later, according to Lancashire Police.

She then took her spaniel Willow for a walk along the River Wyre at 8:43am, and was seen by a dog walker who knew her at around 8.50am, with their pets interacting briefly before they parted ways, according to the force.

At 8.53am, Ms Bulley sent an email to her boss, followed by a message to her friends six minutes later, before logging on to a Microsoft Teams call at 9.01am. She was seen by a second witness at 9.10am, the last known sighting.

Her phone was back in the area of the bench at 9.20am before the Teams call ended 10 minutes later, with her mobile remaining logged on after the call. At 9.33am, another dog walker found her phone on a bench beside the river, with Willow darting between the two.

At 10.50am, Ms Bulley’s family and the school attended by her children were told about her disappearance. Lancashire Constabulary launched an investigation into Ms Bulley’s whereabouts on the same day and appealed for witnesses to contact them.

The bench where Nicola Bulley’s phone was found on the banks of the River Wyre

Andy Gregory11 April 2023 19:20

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