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‘My brother went missing in same place as Nicola Bulley – exactly 45 years before’

Both Ms Bulley and Roger Jones vanished on 27 January in eerie coincidence

William Mata
Thursday 16 February 2023 06:19 GMT
‘Any news on mummy?’: Nicola Bulley’s children asking daily about search, says friend

A man whose brother went missing on the same stretch of river where Nicola Bulley disappeared exactly 45 years earlier has shared his sympathies with her family.

Don Jones said “we know just what they must be going through” because his brother Roger also vanished on 27 January close to the River Wyre near Preston in 1978.

Mother-of-two Ms Bulley has not been seen since around 9.15am on the same date in 2023 and emergency services have still not located any trace of her in the water.

Roger Jones was 16 when he was thrown into the river after a motorbike accident but was not found until two months later.

His brother told The Daily Star: “He was obviously swept over the weir and into the tidal part of the river.

“It was just a case of waiting for what seemed inevitable.”

Mr Jones said river conditions were “pretty similar” to when the 45-year-old mother disappeared and that Roger was found seven miles away from St Michael’s on Wyre – the town Ms Bulley was last seen.

Mr Jones said police and rescuers spent hours trying to find his brother but eventually his body washed up on a sandbank at low tide.

The Jones family was “exhausted” from the efforts by the time the body was found, he said.

“We feel so much for Nicola's family and friends. We know just what they must be going through,” he added.

The River Wyre (Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Roger, an aspiring farmer, had been a passenger on the motorbike when it crashed into a car on a narrow bridge in Woodplumpton.

The driver was knocked unconscious but people who rushed to the aid of him did not realise there had been a passenger and that Roger was in danger.

It was not until hours later that a search operation began for him.

Mr Jones said he also had sympathy for the Bulley family in dealing with members of the public and conspiracy theorists, which he said “must be a nightmare”, having dealt with the intrusion of self-styled spiritualists and clairvoyants at the time himself.

Nicola Bulley (PA)

“[It] proved very upsetting, especially for our mum,” he said.

Bulley family friend Emma White told BBC Lancashire: “Please, please, please don’t be going into the village... and knocking on people’s doors or doing YouTube or TikTok.”

Peter Faulding, who has headed up a dive operation in the Bulley case, said his team is ending its efforts having done “all we can”.

Police are now searching downstream in the hope of finding Ms Bulley to explore areas not covered by local CCTV.

Her partner, Paul Ansell, has also been in the area.

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