Woman, 45, who went missing while walking dog ‘was on work conference call when she disappeared’

30 January 2023, 07:29 | Updated: 30 January 2023, 15:08

Nicola Bulley, 45, who is still missing
Nicola Bulley, 45, who is still missing. Picture: Handout

By Asher McShane

Police searching for a woman who vanished three days ago while walking her dog have revealed she was on a work call when she disappeared.

Nicola Bulley's phone was found on a bench close to the spot where she went missing on Friday morning at 9.15am on a path in the town of Wyre, Lancashire.

Searches have been ongoing over the weekend for the 45-year-old.

Police said this afternoon her phone was in use at the time she went missing, and that her dog was found nearby about an hour after she was reported missing.

Lancashire Police said that her phone was found on a bench with a work teams call still on the screen.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Superintendent Sally Riley from Lancashire Police said: “It was on a meeting call, and that was still live it was connected to the conference call and that hadn’t been terminated.”

"We appeal for anyone who may have been driving through the village of St Michael's last Friday morning at about 9.15am or who may have dashcam footage that could be of use to us, or people who may have been dog-walking in the area or on the tow path to come forward.

"They can ring 101 or, if they have a sighting of Nicola, 999."

Asked about lines of inquiry, she said: "The police are keeping a really open mind about what could have happened but we do believe that the likelihood is that Nicola has gone missing and this is not a crime inquiry, but we are keeping an open mind."

A team of detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and following “a number of lines of enquiry”.

Officers from Lancashire Police searching for missing woman Nicola Bulley
Officers from Lancashire Police searching for missing woman Nicola Bulley. Picture: Alamy

She is described as white, 5ft 3ins tall with light brown shoulder-length hair.

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Volunteers searched for her for eight hours on Saturday, and they were joined by North West Ambulance Service, Lancashire Police, the Police Dive Team, Lancashire Fire and Rescue (LFRS), National Police Air Service (Helicopter), a LFRS Search Dog and an LFRS Drone.

Police said her dog was found close to where she disappeared
Police said her dog was found close to where she disappeared. Picture: Alamy

A spokesman for the rescue team said: "The rescue Team were requested by Lancashire Police to attend and assist in the ongoing search for a missing 45-year-old female who had gone missing in the St Michael's on Wyre area.

"A multi-agency search was conducted on Friday throughout the day for Nicola Bulley who was last seen at around 9.15am on Friday, January 27th on the footpath by the river off Garstang Road in St Michael’s on Wyre.

"Local areas were searched with partner agencies, however, Nicola remains outstanding at this time. 25 volunteers of Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue contributed to the search over an 8 hour period."

Volunteers searched for her for eight hours on Saturday
Volunteers searched for her for eight hours on Saturday. Picture: Alamy

Chief Inspector Chris Barton, of Lancashire Police, said: 'Nicola has now been missing for two days and we are extremely concerned about her. Firstly, if anybody saw her on Friday morning and has not yet been spoken to by police, or if anybody has any other information about where she might be, please get in touch with us straight away.

'Enquiries are very much ongoing and we have a team of detectives working tirelessly to establish the circumstances around her disappearance, in addition to a large team of police officers, partner agency and volunteer groups on the ground searching the area around where she was last seen.'

He added: 'We are following a number of lines of enquiry and are keeping an open mind at this stage about what has occurred.

'We appreciate there is a great deal of concern in the local area and that people want to help, however we would ask that nobody puts themselves in any danger. If anybody has any questions or concerns they are welcome to speak to officers in the area.'

Anybody who has seen Ms Bulley, or has information about where she might be, is asked by the police to call 101, quoting log 473 of January 27. The force said to call 999 to report immediate sightings.