Police release image of new witness they want to speak to after disappearance of Nicola Bulley


Lancashire Police have released a picture of a potential further witness they want to speak to in the search for 45-year-old Nicola Bulley.

Officers said they believe “the woman (pictured) was in the area at the time”.

Ms Bulley was last seen on Friday at around 9.15am on a footpath by the River Wyre off Garstang Road in the village of St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire.

Her mobile phone was found on a bench nearby and was still connected to a conference call when it was spotted.

Nicola Bulley
Nicola Bulley

Ms Bulley’s dog, a springer spaniel called Willow, was found loose between the river and the bench.

On Thursday, Ms Bulley’s parents, Ernest, 73, and Dot, 72, said her disappearance was out of character, and she was in good health and enjoying her job.

It does not appear that she fell into the river.

Her father told the Daily Mirror: “There was no sign of a slip or falling in so our thought was has somebody got her?

“I asked the Sergeant from Fleetwood a few days ago, ‘is there any chance of her being taken’ and she said ‘I don’t think that’s the case’.

“I said ‘how can you know that?’. It’s such an isolated area, the only way that has happened is if it was someone who knew her.”

Pic: Lancashire Police
Pic: Lancashire Police

Mr Bulley said the family “dread to think we will never see her again”.

He added: “If the worst came to the worst and she was never found, how will we deal with that for the rest of our lives?”

Ms Bulley’s partner of 12 years, Paul Ansell, has said “the girls are desperate to have their mummy back home safe with them”.

A friend, Heather Gibbons, told Sky News: “You go from being hopeful to heartbroken, and just trying to be strong, because all we want is to find her for her girls and for Paul.”

She added: “You want to hold on to the hope that no news is good news.

“But knowing Nikki, we just know that if she could be at home with her girls, we very firmly believe that’s where she would be. Her family are everything.”

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‘Potentially key’ witness sought in Nicola Bulley search

Another friend, Emma White, described Ms Bulley as “the kindest, beautiful, lovely human being inside and out”, adding that her partner, Paul, was “being strong as possible” for the couple’s two children, aged nine and six.

“We don’t know why she’s gone missing, where she is, we just want her home,” she said.

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‘We still have hope Nicola will be found’

The search for the 45-year-old mortgage adviser entered its sixth day on Wednesday, while detectives investigating her disappearance question a “potentially key” witness.

The 70-year-old is believed to have been in the area at the time Ms Bulley went missing.

A major search involving police dive teams, drones, firefighters and mountain rescue volunteers continues.

Friends and family have also been part of a widespread community search.

Officers have said they are “extremely concerned” for Ms Bulley’s welfare, but stressed the investigation still remains a missing person inquiry and there is nothing, at the moment, to suggest third-party involvement in her disappearance.

Specialist search teams from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and the police, on the River Wyre, in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, as the search continues for missing woman Nicola Bulley
Specialist teams help out in the search for missing woman Nicola Bulley

She is originally from Chelmsford, Essex and has lived in Lancashire for 25 years.

Police said she speaks with an Essex accent.

She is described as white, 5ft 3ins tall, with light brown shoulder-length hair.

Ms Bulley was last seen wearing a long black gilet jacket with a hood, black jeans and olive green ankle wellies. Her hair was tied into a ponytail.

As well as Inskip and St Michael’s on Wyre, she also has links to Thornton Cleveleys.

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