Nicola Bulley river theory row deepens as police hit back at expert

Nicola Bulley: 'We're in a difficult position' says Peter Faulding

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Lancashire Police have dismissed comments made by the diver who went into the River Wyre to look for missing Nicola Bulley. Mr Faulding has told a number of news outlets in recent days that he believes Nicola is not in the River Wyre after she went missing near there on January 27.

But superintendent Sally Riley of Lancashire Police has hit back at Mr Faulding after her force said their “working hypothesis” was that Nicola is in the river.

She said: “Our search has not found Nicola in the river and then a re-search in parts by SGI has found the same.

“That does not mean… that Nicola has not been in the river.

“In the light of other inquiries being discounted from the investigation so far… clearly our main belief is that Nicola did fall into the river.

“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.”

Nicola went missing on January 27 while walking her dog, Willow, near the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre.

She was logged onto a work call while walking. Her phone was later found on a bench unlocked while her dog was roaming the nearby area unsupervised.

The family of Nicola have also doubted the police’s theory that Nicola fell into the river.

Mr Faulding has offered to help the search for free. He has also questioned the police’s claim that they do not suspect third-party involvement.

He believes the phone may have been left on the bench as a decoy.

This week, Mr Faulding has also hit back at people online who have accused him of having ulterior motives for helping in the search.

He said he and his team do not deserve the “trash” they have received from trolls.

Mr Faulding told TalkTV: “I have given my time to many cases free of charge. We get paid to do police diving operations, but I offered my services free of charge for a whole week in the April Jones case.

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“There was no media around. I never gave any interviews for that. I donate life jackets for kids in schools, I do a lot for charity, I don’t need publicity.

“The press have come to me for this. If I don’t give information then I get slated. I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. There is no ulterior motive for me.”

Addressing the trolls, he added: “They are heartless individuals, and they need to go and watch the paramedics work at night, and the other emergency services dealing with the sort of grief we have to deal with.”

Later he added on Twitter: “This is what you get for trying to help people. I have given my life to helping families looking for missing loved ones.

“Do our job searching in dark murky waters for a drowning victim. My team and I don’t deserve this trash.”

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