Nicola Bulley: Potential witness wanted by police in search of 45-year-old dog-walker identified | UK news

A possible witness sought by Lancashire Police following the disappearance of Nicola Bulley has now been identified.

Earlier today, police released a CCTV image of a dog walker wearing a red coat who they wanted to speak to and said they believed “the woman was in the area at the time” Ms Bulley disappeared.

Lancashire Police later said: “We have now identified the woman and would like to thank everyone who shared our appeal and called in with information.”

Mrs Bulley was last seen on Friday at around 9.15am. on a footpath beside the River Wyre on Garstang Road in the village of St Michael’s in Wyre, Lancashire.

Her cell phone was found on a bench nearby and was still connected to a conference call when she was found.

Nicola Bulley
Nicola Bulley

Mrs Bulley’s dog, a spaniel called Willow, was found loose between the river and the bench.

On Thursday, Mrs Bulley’s parents, Ernest, 73, and Dot, 72, said her disappearance was out of character and that she was in good health and enjoying her work.

It doesn’t look like it fell into the river.

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Nicola Bulley Family Interview – Full

Her father too he told Sky News of the “pain” the “close-knit family” is feeling..

“This has emptied our lives at the moment, we just feel so empty,” she said.

Photo: Lancashire Police
The woman has now been identified by police. Photo: Lancashire Police

“We appreciate everything everyone is doing to find her. The police have been great, the local community has been great. But at the end of the day we just want her back.”

Her sister Louise Cunningham told Sky News: “I feel like I’m stuck in a nightmare to be honest.

“We go round and round trying to piece together what could have happened.

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Family of missing dogs ‘stuck in a nightmare’

“It’s like she just vanished into thin air. We just want her home, we need her home, her kids need her home. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.”

Mrs Bulley’s partner of 12 years, Paul Ansell, said “the The girls are desperate to have their mummy back home safe with them.”

A friend, Heather Gibbons, told Sky News: “You’ve gone from hopeful to devastated and just trying to be strong because all we want is to find her for her girls and for Paul.”

He added: “You want to hold onto hope that no news is good news.

“But knowing Nikki, we just know that if she could be at home with her girls, we strongly believe that’s where she would be. Her family is everything.”

Another friend, Emma White, described Mrs Bulley as “the kindest, most beautiful, beautiful human being inside and out”, adding that her partner, Paul, “was as strong as possible” for the couple’s two children , aged nine and six.

Chronology of Nikolas’ disappearance

Lancashire Police have now confirmed Nicola’s movements in the lead up to her disappearance on Friday January 27.

8.43 am – Nicola walked along the path beside the River Wyre, having dropped her children off at school

8:50 am (approx) – A dog-walker – someone who knows Nicola – saw her walking in the lower field with her dog. The two dogs interacted briefly before the witness left the field via the river path

8.53 – She sent an email to her boss

9.01 am – Joined a Teams call

9.10 am (approx) – A witness – someone who knows Nicola – saw her in the upper field walking her dog, Willow. Work continues today to establish exactly what time this was

9.30 am – The teams call ended but Nicola remained connected

9.35 am (approx) – Nicola’s mobile phone and Willow found on a bench by the river by another dog walker.

Read more:
Parents of missing dog walker fear ‘someone has taken her’
A ‘potentially key’ witness is wanted in the search for Nicola Bulley

“We don’t know why she went missing, where she is, we just want her home,” he said.

Earlier this week, detectives investigating Ms Bulley’s disappearance questioned a “potentially key” witness.

The 70-year-old is believed to have been in the area at the time Ms Bulley disappeared.

An important quest that includes police dive teams, drones, firefighters and mountain rescue volunteers continue.

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“We still have hope that Nikola will be found”

Friends and family also joined a community-wide search.

Officers said they were extremely concerned for Ms Bulley’s welfare but stressed the investigation was still a missing person’s investigation and there was nothing, at this time, to suggest a third party was involved in her disappearance.

He is from Chelmsford, Essex and has lived Lancashire for 25 years.

Police said he speaks with an Essex accent.

Special search teams from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and police on the River Wyre at St Michael's in Wyre, Lancashire as searches continue for missing woman Nicola Bulley
Specialist teams are helping to search for missing woman Nicola Bulley

She is described as white, 5ft 3in tall, with shoulder-length light brown hair.

Ms Bulley was last seen wearing a long black hooded vest jacket, black jeans and olive wellies. Her hair was tied in a ponytail.

As well as Inskip and St Michael’s on Wyre, he also has links with Thornton Cleveleys.

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