‘Worried’ passer-by raised alarm after finding Nicola Bulley’s dog

Nicola Bulley: Police divers search River Wyre

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A passerby raised the alarm over Nicola Bulley’s disappearance after finding her dog alone near the river. Ms Bulley was out walking her springer spaniel Willow in St Michaels on Wyre, Lancashire when she went missing last Friday morning. The woman, who did not want to be named found Willow running free next to the river as well as her phone, which was still connected to a work call. Raising concerns she called her daughter-in-law, who contacted Nicola’s partner Paul, who then rang the police, the Mirror reports.

The woman said she recognised the dog but couldn’t remember who it belong to.

She said: “There was a mobile phone on the bench and there was also something between the bench and the river so I went and looked, and it was a dog harness.

“The dog looked worried so I tied her up and rushed home as I had to go to an appointment.”

She spoke to her daughter-in-law who “immediately knew who the dog was”.

The passer-by said she knew of Nicola, 45 and her partner after passing them on the dog walking route.

“I always say morning to them or comment on how it’s a lovely day but that’s all.

“It’s just awful, I hope to God that it’s not a bad outcome,” she added.

Many questions remain over Nicola’s disappearance as the search enters its seventh day and her family launched an emotional appeal in a bid for information.

Her father, Ernest Bulley, 73 said her “two young children” are waiting for her to come home.

In the emotional plea, he said the two are convinced it is “only a matter of time” until she returns.

He made a plea for information as he said: “If she’s watching this, then all we’d like to say is come home, contact the police, contact ourselves and we just want you back.”

Mr Bulley added: “They know that Mummy’s missing but they know that she’s going to be coming home and everyone is looking for her so it’s only a matter of time, that they’re thinking in their minds, that she’s going to walk through that door.”

Two fellow dog walkers said they saw Nicola before her disappearance and she was “laughing and joking” with them.

It comes after a friend revealed Nicola sent a text organising meeting up with a friend in the week.

The friend said: “She booked a playdate, 8.57, she sent a text message to a friend whose mortgage she had just recently signed off on to arrange for the girls to go for tea this week.”

The friend said the message indicates that Nicola had no intention of going missing.

She said: “You wouldn’t have done that if you were going to get up and go missing.”

Police confirmed the investigation is still a missing person inquiry with no reason to suspect any criminal element or to suggest any third-party involvement.

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