More than a week after she seemed to “vanish into thin air,” leaving her phone still called into a business conference call at a remote rural location in northern England, specialized divers were searching a river bed on Monday for signs of a missing lady, according to police.
The police’s claim that Nicola Bulley, 45, fell into the river tragically has been disputed by her family and friends. They claim there is no support for the theory, leaving them in an upsetting limbo.
The mortgage advisor was last saw 10 days ago walking her dog along the riverside in the northwest community of St Michael’s on Wyre after dropping off her two young girls at school as usual.
Soon later, a member of the public raised the alarm after discovering her dog wandering about “in an anxious condition.”
Police said on Friday that they were presuming that Bulley fell into the river as a result of her unusual absence, which made national headlines.
The police investigation is being led by superintendent Sally Riley, who said, “Our primary working theory, therefore, is that Nicola has regrettably fallen into the river, that there is no third-party or criminal involvement and that this is not suspicious, but a terrible instance of a missing person.”
The two girls of Bulley’s boyfriend, Paul Ansell, said via the police on Monday that they “desperately miss their mommy” and “need her back.”
Family members argue that she didn’t fall since there were no footsteps or scuffs in the mud, despite the towpath being beside a steep riverbank.
Bulley’s parents have voiced concern that she could have been kidnapped.
Last week, her father Ernest, 73, said he was worried that someone may have “had her” even though there was no indication that his daughter had fallen into the river.
Two little children were there, he continued, waiting for their mother to return.
Louise Cunningham, Bulley’s sister, added: “Someone must be aware of something. People don’t simply disappear without a trace.”
Police divers have searched the river, but they claim they were unable to uncover any indication of the missing lady.
A specialized underwater rescue crew joined the hunt on Monday.
Chief Executive of Specialist Group International and forensic expert Peter Faulding said that his company’s high-tech sonar could detect “every stick and stone lying in the riverbank.”
According to him, the outcome of the search will enable authorities to confirm or refute “if Nicola is indeed in this river.”
Divers, drones, and helicopters are all part of the hunt, as shown in the photos released by Specialist Group International on Facebook.
To attempt to provide Nicola’s family with some kind of closure, the company added, “We will resume the search tomorrow.” At this very trying moment, “our thoughts [are] with Nicola’s family and friends.”
Emma White, a friend, told the BBC that the family was finding the uncertainty very difficult.
“We need some proof to support that in any case, following the police’s supposition that Nicola was in the river,” she stated.
Bulley, who routinely posted pictures of her treks on social media, wrote about the location of her last known whereabouts on her Facebook page in November.
She commented, “Very foggy chilly stroll,” describing the surroundings as “spooky.”
The squad conducting the inquiry is “absolutely devoted and motivated to locate Nicola,” according to Detective Supt. Rebecca Smith.
Smith stated, “As a mom, I can’t even begin to picture what her two kids are going through.”
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