MISSING Nicola Bulley’s heartbroken family yesterday begged for help to find her, saying: “People don’t just vanish into thin air.”
Her parents Ernie and Dot made a TV appeal as police issued a 45-minute timeline of the mum of two’s last known movements.
7The mum was said to be upbeat before she vanished and her parents said she had made spa break plans the night before7Missing Nicola’s heartbroken family yesterday begged for help to find her, saying: ‘People don’t just vanish into thin air’Credit: Sky News7Search teams on the River Wyre where Nicola vanished on Friday while walking the family’s pet dogCredit: PANicola, 45, disappeared a week ago on a dog walk in Lancashire.
Her devastated sister Louise Cunningham says the family are “stuck in a nightmare” a week since she disappeared.
Police search teams, divers and hundreds of volunteers have found no clues as to where she might be.
Sister Louise said yesterday: “We’re going round in circles to piece together what happened. We’ve got to keep an open mind. Somebody must know something . . . get in touch and get my sister back.”
7Nicola Bulley at her favourite spot by the river with her brown springer spaniel WillowLouise was flanked at a TV appeal by their dad, Ernie Bulley, 73, and mum Dot, 72.
Police say mortgage adviser Nicola would drop her daughters at primary school then set off on a regular walk in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancs.
Ernie said he would do anything to have his daughter home, and hoped the appeal would “spark a light” that would lead to her.
Asked how much he missed her, he began to cry as he told Sky News: “Don’t, it’s hard. We’re such a close-knit family. We’d do anything for any one of us and the children would do the same.
“We’re getting on in life, and the grandchildren, and our own children, are more and more important to us as we’re getting older. So, yeah, I just hope she comes home.”
Ernie added the family has not given up hope Nicola is alive.
He said: “There are two 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.
“And they know that Mummy’s missing but they know that she’s going to be coming home and everyone is looking for her so it’s only a matter of time, that they’re thinking in their minds, that she’s going to walk through that door.” Nicola’s partner of 12 years Paul Ansell, who shares a £330,000 home with her in nearby Inskip, described the situation as “perpetual hell”.
Police say Nicola, known to friends and family as Nikki, was last seen on a field at 9.10am. But by 9.35am she was gone.
A dog walker found her phone on a bench and her brown springer spaniel Willow wandering free and raised the alarm. Yesterday search teams focused on a tidal stretch of the Wyre amid fears Nicola had slipped, fallen in and been swept downstream.
But as night closed in, the hunt revealed no new information.
The Sun can reveal Nicola regularly tracked her two-mile route on fitness app Strava. Her walks begin in the school car park. She then strolls along Hall Lane, before taking a right on to Blackpool Lane.
In one shared snap she shows Willow on a lead and harness as she makes her way past the parish church. Nicola took several photos from St Michael’s Bridge which were also posted to Strava.
She then turns right, near The Grapes pub, on to a footpath hugging the Wyre.
According to police she reached here at 8.43am last Friday.
After emerging from a tree-lined pathway next to a caravan park, the route opens up into two fields. Cops said Nicola and Willow arrived at an area with a gate and a bench in a lower field at 8.46am.
They were next seen in the corner of the field at 8.50am.
On the far side is a sandy beach next to the river from which Willow loved to chase a tennis ball she threw into the water.
But on Friday Willow did not enter the water because friends described her as “bone dry”.
Nicola walked across the field in a loop, half of which is flanked by the river. According to police she sent an email to her boss at Exclusively Mortgages at 8.53am.
She then logged on to a Teams call with work at 9.01am.
The call was muted and the video turned off.
Police say a witness who knows Nicola saw her on the upper field at 9.10am.
They chatted and their dogs interacted before the witness left.
At some point Nicola looped back around, stopping at a bench near the entrance to the field. What happened next is still shrouded in mystery.
The Teams call ended at 9.30am but Nicola was still logged in when her phone and dog were found at 9.35am. Behind the bench pinned to a tree is a sign warning of deep water.
7Nicola’s partner of 12 years Paul Ansell, who shares a £330,000 home with her in nearby Inskip, described the situation as ‘perpetual hell’7Police search teams, divers and hundreds of volunteers have found no clues as to where she might beCredit: PANicola and Willow are seen in other selfies mostly taken in the warmer weather.
She comments in one: “Run over St Michael’s Bridge.”
In another post she writes: “Morning run with Willow, felt good!” Nicola also posted pictures of the same walk to her work Facebook account.
Recently she completed a “50 miles in a month” challenge for the Children’s Society.
She was said to be upbeat before she vanished and her parents said she had made spa break plans the night before.
Nicola had also bought tickets to watch the girls perform at choir and gymnastics shows.
Police issued a 45-minute timeline of the mum of two’s last known movements Supt Sally Riley said: “We know that Nicola going missing has caused a great deal of concern for the wider local community, as well as obviously being an awful time for her family.
“This remains a missing person inquiry and at this time there is nothing to suggest any third-party involvement in Nicola’s disappearance.
“I appreciate that there are unanswered questions about what has happened to Nicola. But I would urge people not to speculate or spread false rumours.”
DOG WALKER IN KEY CLUE HELP
7Police have released CCTV of the woman, in a red and white coat with a fur hood, walking a small white dogCredit: PAPOLICE were yesterday speaking to a potential witness — another female dog walker who was in the area when Nicola went missing.
They earlier released CCTV of the woman, in a red and white coat with a fur hood, walking a small white dog.
She was seen at 8.48am on Allotment Lane, close to where Nicola was last seen.
In an evening update, police confirmed the woman had been traced and that they were speaking with her.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk