MISSING Nicola Bulley’s partner today visited the scene where she vanished to speak to a dive expert leading a river search.
Nicola, 45, was last seen in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, at around 9.15am on January 27.
6Paul Ansell today visited the scene where Nicola vanished to speak with a dive expert6The mum disappeared 12 days ago as she walked her dogCredit: Nicholas RazzellSince then, there has been no trace of the mum with the search now on its 12th day.
Nicola’s partner Paul Ansell today visited the scene where specialist divers are using sonar to scour a river.
He was pictured talking to Peter Faulding, who is leading the search, along with one of Nicola’s friends and a detective.
The forensic expert told the dad “she’s not here” as the group stood on the spot where Nicola was last seen.
It came after police hit out at dive expert Peter, who runs Specialist Group International (SGI).
He told multiple news outlets he believed Nicola is not in the River Wyre and suggested she may have been abducted.
The expert even asked Paul if Nicola had any “enemies” amid fears she may have been abducted.
But speaking to The Sun yesterday, he backtracked and said he now believed she was in the water.
Lancashire Police said previously their “main working hypothesis” is that Nicola had “sadly fallen in the river”.
Supt Sally Riley said: “Clearly Mr Faulding isn’t included within all the investigation detail any more than the members of the public are that I’m briefing through these sorts of press conferences.”
The force confirmed yesterday they are keeping an “open mind” over her disappearance.
But Supt Riley said investigators have not yet detected a “suspicious” element in Nicola’s disappearance.
She added: “Every third party element or criminal element has been looked into and discounted.”
Police were also forced to warn amateur detectives from trespassing in empty properties.
The officer urged the public not to “take matters into their own hands” and refrain from speculating online as it could “hurt” Nicola’s family.
She added: “Nor is it helpful if people, particularly if they have come from outside of the area, take it upon themselves to take the law into their own hands by trying to, for example, break into empty property.
“They may mean well, they may want to help. But they can help in thinking back if they were in the area to what information they may have of relevance to the police and holding the family in their thoughts.
“But we will not tolerate online abuse of anyone, including innocent witnesses, members of the family and friends, of local businesses, or of criminal damage or burglary. We will be taking a strong line on that, as you would expect.”
Supt Sally Riley also explained the details surrounding the mammoth inquiry.
She said there are 500 “active” pieces of information and lines of inquiry police are investigating – but “nothing of note” has been found yet.
Officers are speaking to the drivers of 700 vehicles that drove through the village at around 9.10am/9.15am on the morning Nicola vanished.
Supt Riley said the search is “complex” as the river can be fast-moving with parts of the water tidal.
She added: “It remains our belief that Nicola fell into the river and that this is a missing person inquiry.
“We are fully open minded to any information that indicates where Nicola is and what happened to her.”
Officers previously revealed more about Nicola’s final movements as they issued an update on her disappearance.
They said she did not leave the field where she was walking Willow via Rowanwater, either through the site itself or via the piece of land at the side.
Nicola also did not return to the fields along Allotment Lane or via the path at the rear of the Grapes pub onto Garstang Road.
Officers are now focusing on a river path that leads from the fields back to Garstang Road and are appealing for drivers to come forward.
Anyone who travelled down the road on that day will also receive a letter from police requesting dashcam footage.
A timeline has been made by police of the missing mum’s final movements before she disappeared.
Nicola began her walk along the towpath to the River Wyre at 8.43am after dropping her two children off at school.
Police say around seven minutes later, a dog walker who knows Nicola saw her walking around the lower field with her springer spaniel Willow.
The witness said their two dogs interacted briefly before she left Nicola via the river path.
At 8.53am, the mum sent an email to her boss at Exclusively Mortgages.
She then logged into a Teams call at 9.01am and was seen around nine minutes later on the upper field walking Willow.
Police say at 9.30am, the work call ended but Nicola stayed logged on.
At around 9.35am, the mobile and Willow were found at a bench by the river but there was no sign of Nicola.
Nicola has been described as white, 5ft 3ins tall with light-brown shoulder-length hair.
She was last seen wearing an ankle-length black quilted gilet jacket with a black Engelbert Strauss waist-length coat underneath and black tight-fitting jeans.
She had long green walking socks tucked into her jeans, ankle-length green Next wellies, a necklace and a pale blue Fitbit on.
Nicola has an Essex accent and links to the Thornton-Cleveleys area near Blackpool.
Anybody with information about where she might be is asked to call 101, quoting log 473 of January 27, or ring 999 for immediate sightings.
6Paul spoke with Peter Faulding, who is leading the river search6The expert previously asked Paul if Nicola had any enemies6Nicola was last seen on January 27Credit: PA6Searches are continuing for the mumCredit: SWNS
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk