A body found in the River Wyre on Sunday has been confirmed as mother-of-two Nicola Bulley, Lancashire Police assistant chief constable Peter Lawson said.
Bulley went missing after dropping off her two daughters - aged six and nine - at school on 27 January, having taken her dog for a walk by the River Wyre in Lancashire.
Yesterday, police confirmed they had found a body in their search, saying it was yet to be identified.
The force has now confirmed that the body has been identified as the 45-year-old.
Bulley's family have said they will 'never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments', adding: “That will never leave us."
Speaking at a press briefing at police headquarters today (Monday 20 February), Assistant Chief Constable Peter Lawson said: “Sadly, we are now able to confirm that yesterday we recovered Nicola Bulley from the River Wyre.
“Nicola’s family have been informed and are of course devastated. Our thoughts are with them at this time as well as with all her loved ones and the wider community.
“We recognise the huge impact that Nicola’s disappearance has had on her family and friends, but also on the people of St Michael’s.
“We would like to thank all of those who have helped during what has been a hugely complex and highly emotional investigation.
“Today’s development is not the outcome any of us would have wanted, but we hope that it can at least start to provide some answers for Nicola’s loved ones, who remain foremost in our thoughts.”
A statement from Bulley’s family added: “We will never forget Nikki, how could we, she was the centre of our world, she was the one who made our lives so special and nothing will cast a shadow over that.
“Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most.”
At a press conference on 3 February, police first told the public of its 'main working hypothesis' that the mortgage advisor fell in the river during a '10-minute window' between 9.10am and 9.20am that day.
As there was still no evidence of a crime, authorities were not treating the case as suspicious.
Her family were said to be 'heartbroken' following news of a body being discovered yesterday morning.
Sky News correspondent Inzamam Rashid said that he had been in contact with Bulley's family via text, including her partner Paul Ansell, who wrote in a message: "No words right now, just agony."
Rashid also said of the family: "They are incredibly heartbroken by this significant development from Lancashire Police."Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock