Friends of missing mother-of-two Nicola Bulley say they hope the help of a specialized underwater rescue team will give her family answers.
Private dive team Specialist Group International, led by forensic expert Peter Faulding, will help police search for Ms Bulley, who went missing while walking her dog near the River Wyre in Lancashire more than a week ago.
Police have been working on the theory that the 45-year-old woman fell into the river, but her family and friends disputed this, saying there is still no evidence.
Speaking to broadcasters Monday, Bulley’s friend Emma White said the family turned to Faulding and his company for help.
She told BBC Breakfast: “Going by the police hypothesis that Nicola was in the river, we need some evidence to back that up either way and I feel like Peter and his amazing team…will come and sweep the river bed and give us answers.”
Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Ms White added: “We hope they don’t find anything out, as the police have for the last 10 days, and we hope Nicola isn’t in that river.”
Faulding said his team will use high-tech sonar, which can see “every stick and stone that lies in the river bed.”
He told Sky News: “Let’s get them looking for this water so it can be confirmed or denied if Nicola is really in this river.”
He added: “This is a particularly long stretch of river for them (the police) because they are also doubling up as a dive team, so this is a big task for the police.”
Lancashire Police believe Ms Bulley disappeared within “a 10-minute window” on January 27 while walking her dog, Willow, in the village of St Michael’s on Wyre after leaving her daughters, aged six and nine. years at school.
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Another dog walker spotted her at 9:10 a.m., the last known sighting, and police traced phone records from her mobile phone as she stood on a bench overlooking the river at 9:20 a.m.
The device was found by a dog walker around 9:35 a.m., with Willow nearby.
New footage, taken with her home’s doorbell camera the day she went missing and released by her family, shows Ms Bulley loading up her car before taking her children to school.
She was wearing a long black coat and her blonde hair was tied up in a ponytail.