Bench where Bulley’s phone found should have been checked for blood

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Ex detective Martin Underhill has said officers may have made a mistake by not sending the bench where her phone was found for a lab for testing.

Speaking to the Times, Mr Underhill said: “That bench on that river in my view should have gone to a forensic laboratory.

“If Nicola had been attacked there could be blood splatterings on it. Sadly, it’s still in situ. It is questionable to put it bluntly.”

So far police have used a variety of means to try and find Nicola including drones, search dogs, boats, and sonar, but to no avail.

Mr Underhill’s comments come after photographer and wildlife swimmer, Mark Astin, cast doubts on the claim she had fallen into the river.

Speaking to, he said: “When we went last, the water was so clam.  In the middle of the summer, it was a really warm day, the water temp was quite warm, and it was shallow.

Some parts of the way will be a bit more tricky to get in and out. I don’t know what happened to Nicola, but I don’t think she fell into the river. I hope they find her soon. It’s a shame what’s happened there.”

The search for Nicola continues.

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