The baffling 10-minute window shrouding Nicola Bulley’s disappearance in mystery

Map details rough radius where the 45-year-old could have walked or driven to in that unaccounted for time period

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Thursday 16 February 2023 06:11 GMT
Nicola Bulley’s partner ‘extremely upset’ after visiting river scene, says search expert

The disappearance Nicola Bulley continues to puzzle the police and public almost three weeks after the mother-of-two went missing in Lancashire.

The 45-year-old mortgage broker was logged into a Teams work call on her phone on Friday 27 January as she walked her dog, a springer spaniel named Willow, but what happened next in the quiet village of St Michael’s on Wyre remains a mystery.

Specifically, Lancashire Police have a 10-minute window in which they cannot account for Ms Bulley’s movements.

At approximately 9.10am, a witness – somebody who knows Ms Bulley – saw her on the upper field walking her dog.

Police know that at 9.20am, her phone was on the bench it was later discovered on.

The phone was still connected to a Microsoft Teams call she logged on to at 9.01am.

The call ended at 9.30am and her mobile phone and her dog were found by the bench at 9.35am. Police continue to investigate what might have happened between the witness sighting and the phone being placed on the bench.

Substantial CCTV in the surrounding areas has ruled out that Ms Bulley left the park via the majority of the gates. The path leading to Garstang Lane, however, has proven to be a black spot.

The disappearance of Nicola Bulley continues to puzzle the police and public
The disappearance of Nicola Bulley continues to puzzle the police and public (PA)

From the last place she was sighted at approximately 9.10am, and where her phone was seen at 9.20am, there is a baffling 10-minute window where Ms Bulley could have walked or driven to the surrounding areas.

The Independent has mapped out the rough radius where the 45-year-old could have walked and driven to in those 10 minutes.

This map shows an estimated radius Ms Bulley could have walked to within 10 minutes:

(The Independent)

This map shows the rough distance Ms Bulley could have gone in a car in the unexplained 10 minutes:

(The Independent)

Some nearby locations within a 10 minute proximity are:

  • Rowanwater
  • Melissa Interior Design Limited
  • Plexio UK Limited
  • St Michaels Cattery
  • The Spirit of Garstang Gin
  • Devine Camping Pods

Rescue services combed through the area that Ms Bulley may have been on several occasions but have come up empty.

Peter Faulding, founder of underwater rescue team Specialist Group International (SGI), said if the 45-year-old was in the River Wyre where she disappeared on 27 January, his team would locate her.

(Datawrapper/The Independent)

But less than five days after joining Lancashire Police’s operation, the group pulled out describing the disappearance as “baffling”.

Police have complained that the operation has been hampered by conspiracy theorists and volunteers who have been breaking into abandoned homes to aid the search.

However, nearly three weeks have passed and there is still no trace of the mother-of-two and no substantial evidence pointing to where she could be.

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