Three CCTV blind spots could hold the key to Nicola Bulley's disappearance as police trawl dashcam footage

10 February 2023, 09:12 | Updated: 10 February 2023, 09:25

Nicola Bulley's walking route had three vital CCTV blind spots
Nicola Bulley's walking route had three vital CCTV blind spots. Picture: Handout / Google Maps

By Danielle DeWolfe

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Nicola Bulley have identified three key CCTV blind spots hampering attempts to trace her movements in the hours before the mother-of-two vanished.

Nicola, 45, disappeared at around 9.10am on January 27 while out walking her dog near the River Wyre which borders the village of St Michael's, Lancashire.

She was reporting missing two hours later at 11am - a window of time in which her movements remain unclear.

Initially perusing the theory she may have fallen into the river, an extensive search using divers and advanced sonar has so far drawn a blank.

After trawling a mile-long stretch of river that runs alongside her route, police have now admitted Nicola could have left the area via a footpath not covered by CCTV cameras.

It comes as Superintendent Sally Riley this week acknowledged the possibility of this theory, but added that 'every single' suspicion or criminal involvement had so far been discounted.

Nicola Bulley's walking route had three vital CCTV blind spots
Nicola Bulley's walking route had three vital CCTV blind spots. Picture: Google Maps

Her last known sighting was by a fellow dog walker on a path beside the river (top right circle), an area not covered by cameras.

Now, police are also looking into a path that falls in a CCTV blindspot and leads from the river to Garstang Road, which runs through the village.

With two possible exits from the river path, police remain confident Nicola didn't leave the river route via Rowanwater, with CCTV covering the exit and a nearby mobile home site.

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However, friends have since claimed that CCTV covering the other exit, just south of the mobile home site and links to Rowanwater, was not working at the time (bottom right circle).

This camera, if working, would have also covered the fields to the south of where Ms Bulley was last seen.

Police have since moved the search to the coast, with boats seen trawling the area.
Police have since moved the search to the coast, with boats seen trawling the area. Picture: Sky

Officers are now attempting to trace dashcam footage from around 700 drivers who are believed to have passed through the area at the time of Nicola's disappearance.

The third blindspot is a riverside path leading from the Wyreside Farm Caravan Park through to the A586 (left circle).

It's also believed that a camera at a house close to the path was not working at the time, however, this did not cover the exit so would have been of little use.

Police have since switched the search to the coast near Morcambe Bay, with two boats seen scouring the area.

Morecambe Bay is around 20 miles from where Nicola was last seen, with police suggesting finding her 'in the open sea becomes more of a possibility'.

Despite the police working theory that Nicola fell into the rive, so far no evidence has yet been retrieved from the water.

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