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Sick grief tourists are travelling for miles just to get a picture of the bench where missing mum-of-two Nicola Bulley’s mobile phone and dog harness was found on the day she disappeared. Even as Ms Bulley’s family becomes ever more worried about the wellbeing of the beloved 45-year-old, the areas parish council chairman has warned about people treating the investigation as a “spectator sport”.
The 46-year-old mother-of-two disappeared on January 27 in St Michael’s on Wyre in Lancashire, with her phone, still connected to a work conference call, found on a bench near where she was last seen.
The missing mortgage advisor has become the subject of widespread speculation even as police say the most likely hypothesis is that she fell in the river – although despite the efforts of a hi-tech investigation team, no evidence of this has been found.
Reports have emerged of social media users taking the opportunity to get selfies with the bench and other key parts of the investigation in a sick effort to achieve social clout using Nicola’s tragic disappearance.
The area’s parish council chairman Giles Phillips slammed people for taking the ghoulish pictures.
He said: “It would be helpful if people could let the authorities do their jobs. We don’t want anyone to hinder the investigation.
“This is not a spectator sport. Most of the area is private land. The public access is very minimal and can’t absorb the numbers of people who are coming every day.
“They aren’t searching for somebody. They are watching someone else search for somebody. We would rather people stayed home or took a day trip to the Lake District.”
Family friend Heather Gibbons added: “It does feel like some people have come to maybe use it as more like a tourist spot, to do their own personal social media things.’’
Others have attempted to take the search into their own hands, prompting police to put out a warning not to break into nearby abandoned homes to try and find her.
Lancashire Police said it “will not tolerate” people committing criminal offences by breaking into empty or derelict riverside properties to try to find the missing mother-of-two.
Superintendent Sally Riley told reporters: “There are some properties along the riverside which are empty or derelict. Whilst it may be well-intentioned that people think that that could be a line of inquiry, I would ask them to desist from doing that.
DON’T MISS: Friend of Nicola Bulley condemns ‘tourists’ at investigation site [REVEAL]
Planes circling river where Nicola Bulley vanished to help search [INSIGHT]
Nicola Bulley’s loyal dog ran back to bench as ‘scent strongest’ [ANALYSIS]
“In some cases it may be criminal if they are breaking in and causing damage or committing a burglary.”
Yesterday Express.co.uk revealed that private planes had been circling the area where Nicola disappeared in an apparent community effort to help detectives in their investigation.
While police say they are sticking to their belief that she fell in the river, they have admitted there is a “possibility” that Nicola may have left the riverside path where she was last seen with “someone”. Speaking with BBC Breakfast, Peter said he had a feeling in his “gut” that the missing mum may have not simply fallen into the river.
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