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Nicola Bulley's partner shares his 'agony' after police find body in search for missing mum-of-two

Katherine Sidnell

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| Last updated 

Nicola Bulley's partner shares his 'agony' after police find body in search for missing mum-of-two

Featured Image Credit: Family Handout

Nicola Bulley's partner, Paul Ansell, has said he is 'in agony' after police announced that they had found a body this afternoon.

Lancashire Police have been looking for missing mum-of-two since January 27.

Bulley was last seen walking her dog in St Michael’s on Wyre, after dropping her two daughters at school.

Earlier today, police confirmed that a body had been found, however, formal identification has yet to take place.

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Sky News correspondant, Inzamam Rashid, said that he has been in contact with Bulley's family through text, including her partner Paul Ansell.

Police have searched the river close to where Nicola Bulley went missing. Credit: Credit: Nicola Bulley/Facebook
Police have searched the river close to where Nicola Bulley went missing. Credit: Credit: Nicola Bulley/Facebook

According to Rashid, the family were 'incredibly heartbroken' by the recent development.

Ansell added: "No words right now, just agony."

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Lancashire Police issued a statement today, saying: "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.

Bulley was last seen walking her dog Willow. Credit: Nicola Bulley/Facebook
Bulley was last seen walking her dog Willow. Credit: Nicola Bulley/Facebook

"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.

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"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.

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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.

The River Wyre in St Michael's, close to where Nicola disappeared. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
The River Wyre in St Michael's, close to where Nicola disappeared. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

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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."

Topics: News, True Crime

Katherine Sidnell
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