Nicola Bulley dive expert rips ’10 minute window’ theory apart

Nicola Bulley's partner urges people to come forward with information

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The diver who has helped in the search for missing Nicola Bulley has dismissed the idea of a key “10-minute window” which could help find the missing mum. Nicola was last seen by a fellow dog walker in St Michael’s on Wyre at 9:10am on January 27.

Just 10 minutes later, her unlocked phone and her dog Willow were found by a bench on the river bank. Police believe this time period is crucial to working out what happened.

But Peter Faulding has challenged this idea, saying this 10 minute period may not “mean that much.”

In an interview with the Daily Mail, he said: “Everyone talks about the ten-minute window surrounding her disappearance, but the fact is that ten minutes marks the time from when she was [last] seen until when her phone was found — which doesn’t actually mean that much.

‘It’s an open-ended ten minutes, because there are hours of unfilled time from when she was last seen where we don’t know what happened.”

Mr Faulding has also raised another concern – friends of Nicola say she rarely walked by the river bank.

He added: “One of them showed me the Strava app she uses which records her walking activity, and it showed that she didn’t walk by the river bank but in the fields.”

Nicola’s phone has been a key piece of evidence in the investigation. In the moments before her disappearance, she was logged onto a work call with her camera and microphone off.

While police suspected that her phone being left by the bench could suggest she fell into the river, Mr Faulding believes the device could have been left there as a decoy by an attacker.

He used the case of Laura Torn in 2003 to support his claim. Laura vanished after celebrating passing her driving test at a pub near her home near Scunthorpe, and one of her white stilettos was quickly found by a nearby river bank.

He added: “It happened with the case of Laura Torn. It meant everyone directed their search to the river. But her body was found 11 days later buried in a haystack. The stiletto was a decoy.”

After the River Wyre was searched extensively in recent says, Nicola’s partner Paul Ansell has also said he is convinced she is not there.

He told Channel 5 News on Friday: “Extensive searching, you know, as you’re probably aware, has gone on in that river.

“The fact that the divers and underwater rescue team and all that were in that river on the day, and thankfully found absolutely nothing, in the part where you would have to presume is her last known location.

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“Personally, I am 100 percent convinced it’s not the river, that’s my opinion.”

Earlier this week, the search for Nicola moved to the coast as Lancashire Police took their search nine miles downstream to Morecambe Bay.

Police boats were seen moving across the bay and searching the banks of the estuary at Shard Bridge, near Skippool.

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