A body has been found in the search for the missing woman Nicola Bulley, police have said.
Bulley, 45, a mortgage adviser from Inskip, Lancashire, vanished while walking her dog after dropping off her daughters, aged six and nine, at school more than three weeks ago, on 27 January.
Lancashire police said that no formal identification has yet been carried out. Procedures to identify the body are on-going, they said.
Within a week of her going missing, Lancashire police said they believed she had fallen into the river while walking her dog, Willow, along the River Wyre.
Piecing together CCTV footage, mobile phone data and sightings from people who knew Bulley, detectives believed there was only a 10-minute window when she was out of sight. Her phone, which was still connected to a work call, was found on a bench by the river, alongside Willow’s harness.
This comes three weeks after the mum-of-two disappeared while walking her springer spaniel Willow in the village of St Michael’s on Wyre on January 27. She was last seen at 9.10am taking her usual route with Willow, alongside the river, having earlier dropped off her two daughters at school.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Lancashire Police revealed Ms Bulley was classed as a ‘high-risk’ missing person immediately after her partner reported her disappearance ‘based on a number of specific vulnerabilities’. They later added in a statement that she had been struggling with alcohol issues and the menopause, and had stopped taking HRT medication.
Police later came under heavy criticism for revealing the details, with Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt describing the disclosure of private information as ‘shocking’. Meanwhile, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it was assessing information to determine whether an investigation would be necessary over the contact officers had with Ms Bulley on January 10.
The referral came after her family called for an end to the ‘speculation and rumours’ about her private life.
Our thoughts go out to the family at this most terrible time.