The cop who exposed paedo telly legend Jimmy Savile has criticised Lancashire Police and said he would have treated Nicola Bulley's disappearance as "murder or abduction" within 48 hours.
Nicola was walking the dog along the River Wyre in Lancashire when she mysteriously disappeared on January 27. Extensive searches by police, the public and a professional search squad have revealed nothing.
And now, Mark Williams-Thomas, a former police detective who exposed Jimmy Savile, and ex Scotland Yard veteran Mick Neville have given their takes on the faltering investigation.
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Speaking to Mail Online, Mr Williams-Thomas said: "This would now be a critical incident being dealt with as suspicious, if it had been down to me.
"Within 48 hours I would have treated this in the same fashion as a murder or abduction. I think police have been right to say they have an open mind – the problem that they have got is that they also said it wasn’t criminal."
And Mr Neville said the location should have been secured because "there could have been something of forensic value there."
He added: "I think what Lancashire Police have made a mistake with is regarding the forensics at the scene – it should have been sealed off on Friday.
"Every picture I see of that river bank shows the edge is a sheer drop. So the lack of foot slip marks or any disturbed ground doesn't stop me thinking she has fallen in. I think it is most likely she is in that river."
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He said he would have put "an object of her weight and size in the river to estimate how far she may have gone."
Nicola left behind her phone which was still connected to a work call as well as her dog’s lead and harness which was found on a bench on the river bank.
The location of the items prompted police to send in a specialist team of divers to search the river. However, they were unable to find Nicola.
They have since extended their search to the sea where the mouth of the River Wyre connects.
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