Nicola Bulley's family say they are 'incredibly heartbroken' after police find body in river
| Last updated
Nicola Bulley's family have said they are 'incredibly heartbroken' after police confirmed they have found a body in the river.
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. She has not been seen since.
Earlier today, police confirmed that they had found a body in their search, saying it is yet to be identified.
In the wake of the turning point in the ongoing investigation, Sky News correspondent, Inzamam Rashid, said he had been in contact with Ms Bulley's relatives via text messages.
He said: "They are incredibly heartbroken by this significant development from Lancashire Police."
Announcing that a body had been discovered in the river today, a spokesperson for Lancashire police said in a statement: "This morning, Sunday, 19 February, you may be aware of police activity around the river near to St Michaels.
"We want to provide you with an update on that activity. We were called today at 11:36am to reports of a body in the River Wyre, close to Rawcliffe Road.
"An underwater search team and specialist officers have subsequently attended the scene, entered the water and have sadly recovered a body.
"No formal identification has yet been carried out, so we are unable to say whether this is Nicola Bulley at this time.
"Procedures to identify the body are on-going. We are currently treating the death as unexplained.
"Nicola’s family have been informed of developments and our thoughts are with them at this most difficult of times. We ask that their privacy is respected."
An anonymous villager says that she found Bulley's mobile phone, which was still connected to a work call, on a bench by the side of the river under a tree.
She also claims to have witnessed Nicola's pet dog Willow running free while the dog's harness was on the floor next to the river.
At a press conference on 3 February, police first told the public of its 'main working hypothesis' that the mortgage adviser fell in the river during a '10-minute window' between 9.10am and 9.20am that day.
There is still no evidence of a crime, and therefore authorities are not treating the case as suspicious.
But Bulley's partner, Paul Ansell, said he is '100 percent' sure she didn't fall into the river, saying the path was 'about as well known a walk to us as you could possibly do'.
"On the very odd occasion when you see somebody that you don't know, they stand out like a sore thumb," he said.
"So whatever has happened, in my eyes, has to be somebody who knows the local area. And the fact that nothing's been seen or heard, I just truly believe that it's something in the village."
Featured Image Credit: Police handout
Topics: UK News