Nicola Bulley: Partner says she's 'vanished into thin air'
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Nicola Bulley’s family have urged people to continue looking for the missing mum-of-two despite police suggesting she had “fallen into the river”. On Friday, police confirmed their leading theory was that Nicola had fallen into the icy water on River Wyre while trying to retrieve Willow’s tennis ball. She had been out walking the springer spaniel before going missing.
If Nicola did fall into the river, she may have been weighed down by the heavy items of clothing she was wearing while out walking the regular route.
“Off the back of the latest police media update, please can I add there is no evidence whatsoever that she has gone into the river, it’s just a theory,” she said.
“Everyone needs to keep an open mind as not all CCTV and leads have been investigated fully, the police confirmed the case is far from over.”
Police have confirmed they are looking into other possible inquiries. including a “very small area” leading out of the park which is the only exit that is now covered by CCTV and could be crucial to the development of the case.
There is CCTV covering all the surrounding gates but the path leading to Garstang Lane toward the A5/A6 has thus far proven to be a camera black spot.
Lancashire Police Superintendent Sally Riley told the Lancashire Post: “Several exits of the riverside area have CCTV covering them or exits are locked and therefore couldn’t have been passed through by Nicola.
“There’s only a very small area onto Garstang Lane toward the A5/A6 which is not covered by CCTV and that’s why we’re appealing today for dashcam footage or for people who may have been walking on Garstang Lane or driving in the area to come forward if they can.”
The investigation is still underway, with specialist divers entering the water in search of Nicola. While the search continues, police have said their lead theory is that for some as of yet unknown reason, Nicola entered the river on the morning of January 27 shortly after dropping her two daughters, aged six and nine, at school.
Nicola’s family are clinging to the hope that she will be found and are urging people to continue searching for her.
In the early stages of the investigation police questioned whether it was possible she had been taken, and reportedly even considered if she’d staged her own disappearance.
And when Willow was found by another dog-walker – just 13 minutes after Ms Bulley vanished – she was “bone dry”, leading police to determine she likely had not been in the water, despite being alone, out of her harness and “worked up”.
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Police believe missing mum Nicola Bulley fell into river [INSIGHT]
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Last night, Nicola’s family were finding the candid police assessment “hard to contemplate” but continued to hold onto hope, reports the Mail.
Partner Paul Ansell, a 44-year-old company director, was the one to initially raise the alarm after the school contacted him to say his dog had been found running loose.
At the scene yesterday he said: “My whole focus is my two girls, just staying as strong as I can for them. I’m scared that if I put focus into anything else it’s going to take my focus off that.
“I just can’t believe we’re a week on, and it seems like we’re no further on. It just seems absolutely impossible. Like a dream. I cannot get my head around it. Right now it’s like she’s vanished into thin air, it’s insane.”
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