Police search for missing dog walker appeal of ‘key’ witness

Police looking for Nicola Bulley have asked for a “key” witness who they believe was in the area on the morning of the mother-of-two’s disappearance.

The witness is a woman seen pushing a pram on the morning of Friday, January 27, when Mrs. Bulley disappeared.

The officers believe that Ms. Bulley fell into the river wyre while walking his dog.

However, his family and friends have claimed that there is “no evidence of any kind” behind the police theory.

The woman was seen walking in the village of St Michael’s on Wyre at around 8:22am.

She is seen walking again just under 20 minutes later at 8:41 a.m.

Read more:
What was missing from the movements of the dog walker before she disappeared?

A Lancashire Police spokesperson said: “It is believed the woman in question may have been walking along the river path during this time, so detectives want to speak to her and urge her to get in touch.”

The force spokesman added that it was crucial to collect as much imagery of the area as possible that morning in order to “go through each piece meticulously” and establish whether Nicola can be seen.

“We know from the images we are currently reviewing that this is a very busy road, particularly at that time in the morning,” they added.

“There will be many people who were in that area at the time who may not think they can help, however we urge you not to make that decision yourself and come forward so we can have as much material as possible to help in the investigation”. .”

Crucial 10-minute window

Bulley, 45, was last seen walking her dog on a path alongside the River Wyre.

The police focus their investigation on a crucial 10-minute window when the mortgage adviser’s movements go unaccounted for between 9:10 a.m. and 9:20 a.m.

A forcibly reconstructed timeline found that he connected to a work conference call in Microsoft Teams at 9:01 am.

Nine minutes later, a witness who knows Ms Bulley said she saw her in the upper field walking her dog, Willow, who was off her leash.

This is the last confirmed sighting of her.

At 9:20 a.m., police believe their phone was left on a bank by the river.

At 9:30 a.m., the work conference call ended, but she remained connected, before another dog walker found her phone three minutes later at the bank.

‘We will never lose hope’

Ms Bulley’s partner, Paul Ansell, vowed to “never give up hope” on Friday, a week after she “disappeared into thin air.”

He said he was focused on supporting his daughters, ages six and nine, but added: “I don’t know how I’m coping.

“I do not want to think about that”.

Friends and family have told Sky News correspondent Katerina Vittozzi it was “too early for condolences” and say they are not ready to accept the police theory that Ms Bulley fell into the river.

They have now set up a community search center at the village tennis club where people are invited to grab a map of the local area and try to help.

Specialists and divers from HM Coastguard, Mountain Rescue and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service have been deployed to help in the search, along with sniffer dogs, drones and police helicopters.

A team of detectives have been working to analyze telephone communication, house-to-house inquiries, CCTV, dashcam footage and other digital inquiries, Lancashire Police said.

Read more:
Nicola’s girls ‘really miss her’, friend reveals
Signs and banners unfurled in the streets to find the missing mother of two

‘It’s a very, very strange one’

Forensic search and rescue expert Peter Faulding told Sky News that the “bizarre” circumstances of Ms Bulley’s disappearance had left him “baffled”.

Faulding, who has worked on hundreds of cases, said the tidal nature of the River Wye has presented difficulties for police during the search operation.

But he added: “I mean, the phone found, a bank; normally, if someone were to stumble, they would have their phone in hand.

“You know, the dog is dry, it goes after the dogs, that’s why a lot of people drown. They jump after their dogs.

“But the dog was found dry, so it clearly didn’t go to the river, and that’s what makes me suspect that this case is very, very strange.”

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