Nicola Bulley's family 'heartbroken' after police find body in river
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Nicola Bulley's family have said they are 'incredibly heartbroken' after police confirmed they have found a body in the river.
Earlier today, Lancashire Constabulary confirmed a body was found around a mile from where Bulley was last seen walking her dog in St Michael’s on Wyre on 27 January, after dropping her daughters at school.
The force have said that a formal identification is yet to be carried out but the 45-year-old mortgage adviser’s family have been informed.
Sky News correspondent, Inzamam Rashid, said he had been in contact with Bulley's relatives via text messages.
He said: "They are incredibly heartbroken by this significant development from Lancashire Police."
In a statement issued today, a police spokesman said that officers were called to reports of a body in the river close to Rawcliffe Road at around 11.35am.
"An underwater search team and specialist officers have subsequently attended the scene, entered the water and have sadly recovered a body," the statement said.
"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."
Earlier this month, the head diver of a specialist team who had been called to help described the case as the 'most baffling' he has ever worked on.
Underwater searches using specialist sonar equipment in the river had taken place to try and locate Bulley, as investigators believe that she might have fallen into the river and drowned.
Peter Faulding, head of the private diving team Specialist Group International (SGI), was one working tirelessly in the efforts to find Bulley, which took place on 6 February.
With Lancashire Police, he searched 'three or four miles' of the river until it got dark, and it was unsafe to continue.
Speaking on TalkTV, Faulding said that he has been left 'baffled' that Bulley has not been found after ten days of intense searches.
He said: "After 25 years of doing this kind of work, after hundreds of cases, I am well and truly baffled. Normally you would expect the divers to find them easily.
"When people drown they generally go down where they are. We normally find them within five to ten days of where they went down.
"This is the most baffling case that I have ever worked on."
In a press conference, Superintendent Sally Riley said the police's theory is that Bulley 'sadly fell into the river and this is a missing person enquiry'.
She added: "The river is a complex area to search ... and is tidal in parts.
"As acknowledged by experts, this makes the search more difficult."