Nicola Bulley inquest will look to answer key questions into her death
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Police handouts
An inquest into the death of Nicola Bulley, who vanished while out walking her dog earlier this year, is set to begin today.
The case drew huge attention after Nicola, 45, vanished seemingly without a trace after dropping her daughters off at school on 27 January.
She had then gone to take her dog Willow for the usual walk along the River Wyre.
The mum-of-two's disappearance sparked a huge search and rescue operation, including from private specialist diving teams and hundreds of volunteers who also assisted in the search.
Her body was eventually found around a mile downstream on 19 February, some three weeks after her disappearance.
The case also caused an avalanche of speculation on social media - with content creators even visiting the site of her disappearance - and conspiracy theories abounding, despite police warning the public not to speculate on Nicola's disappearance.
Police confirmed that there are not any suspicious circumstances around the disappearance, suggesting that she may have entered the water due to a problem with her dog.
Now, five months on from her initial disappearance, an inquest into Nicola's death is scheduled to begin today.
The inquest will aim to answer four key questions - who has died, when and where they died, the medical cause of their death, and how they came by their death.
The coroner will examine evidence presented to them which commonly includes elements such as police reports and post-mortem examinations, as well as statements from family and loved ones.
They will then try to answer those four questions as best they can based on that evidence, with 'the balance of probabilities' being the standard of proof, meaning that something is more likely than not.
Lawyers representing Nicola Bulley's family said in a statement: "Her family are hopeful, and confident, that the inquest process will establish the true facts, a clear timeline of what happened, and how Nicola died.
"Her family will not be making any comment until all evidence has been heard, and until the Coroner has delivered his conclusion."
It is understood that Nicola's partner and sister will be among those giving evidence at the inquest, as well as around 20 witnesses being heard.
Police were criticised at the time after releasing Nicola's medical records to the public, which included sensitive information about her health struggles. Lancashire Police were subsequently cleared of wrongdoing by a police watchdog.
The inquest is scheduled to run over two days. It will be led by Lancashire's senior coroner Dr James Adeley at County Hall in Preston.
Topics: UK News