Nicola Bulley theories: What do police think happened in missing mum case?

16 February 2023, 12:15

Nicola Bulley missing person poster alongside police
Nicola Bulley has been missing since January 27 2023. Picture: Alamy

The missing mum of two disappeared on January 27 without a trace, but what has happened to her? Here's the theories and latest evidence Lancashire police are working from.

Nicola Bulley, a missing mother of two, vanished while walking her dog along the River Wye in the village of St Michael's on Wyre in Lancashire.

Now, nearly three weeks on, police are no closer to identifying where the missing 45 year old woman could be as they continue their search in the area and nearby towns.

So what are the theories on what happened to Ms Bulley? What are the latest pieces of evidence that police are following?

Read more: Nicola Bulley's family 'in pieces' as search expert shocked at cops telling public about her alcohol struggles

Read more: 'Surprising and unusual' cops revealed Nicola Bulley's 'significant alcohol issues' and difficulty with menopause

Here's the latest leads in the heartbreaking Nicola Bulley case including a "stained" glove and a "tatty' red van.

Police search for missing Nicola Bulley in the river
Nicola Bulley: Police focus on the theory she fell into the river. Picture: Alamy

Nicola Bulley a 'high-risk missing person'

Police have stepped forward and revealed the mother of two has been considered a 'high-risk missing person' since the beginning of the investigation.

Det Supt Rebecca Smith has detailed this is because of a "number of specific vulnerabilities" including "some significant issues with alcohol" and "ongoing struggles with the menopause".

The police have been criticised for releasing this information as some question the relevance it has to the case overall.

Is Nicola Bulley in the river?

From the beginning, detectives remain set on the theory that she fell into the river. They are treating the case as a missing person inquiry and do not believe it was suspicious.

Original searches of the river, including with a secondary search team, failed to find anything, however, searches are now extended downstream and to the sea opening.

Supt Rebecca Smith said they've found no "criminal aspect or third party involvement" evidence so far. However, they insist they remain "open minded".

Nicola Bulley left the area of her own accord

Police have confirmed they're working off three theories, their main one being she's in the river but also, that she could have left the area voluntarily.

There are a few routes out of the area which aren't covered via CCTV meaning she could have left without being seen.

Detective Smith has said they have a dedicated team of 40 detectives looking through hundreds of hours of footage and they have so far found zero evidence that she left the area.

Retired police detective argues Lancashire police 'pushed' to announce Nicola Bulley alcohol issues

Was a third party involved?

The third and final theory is that a third party was involved although, no evidence has suggested this so far.

Assistant chief constable Peter Lawson said in a press conference: "I would emphasise that it remains the case there is no evidence to indicate a criminal aspect or third party involvement in Nicola’s disappearance."

Police find a stained glove

According to the The Sun, a "stained" blue ski was discovered in the field where Nicola Bulley was last seen.

It doesn't belong to the missing mortgage advisor but police are keeping it on file.

'Tatty' red van

In the latest leads from police, they're trying to trace the owner of a "tatty-looking" red van which was parked close to where she was vanished.

A passerby is responsible for reporting the vehicle along with another witness, according to The Sun.

Lancashire Police confirmed it was making efforts to identify the owner but insisted there was no reason to suspect it is anything other than one of many hundreds of vehicles in the area that morning.

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