James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Body found in river identified as missing mum-of-two Nicola Bulley who went missing 23 days ago
20 February 2023, 17:10 | Updated: 20 February 2023, 19:19
The body found in the River Wyre is missing mum-of-two Nicola Bulley, Lancashire Police have confirmed.
Listen to this article
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, assistant chief constable Peter Lawson confirmed the identity of the body.
He thanked everyone who had helped with the investigation as the force looked ahead to finding more answers for Ms Bulley's family.
"Sadly, we are now able to confirm that yesterday we recovered Nicola Bulley from the River Wyre," he said.
"Nicola's family have been informed and are of course devastated. Our thoughts are with them at this time as well as with all her loved ones and the wider community.
"We recognise the huge impact that Nicola's disappearance has had on her family and friends, but also on the people of St Michael's.
"We would like to thank all of those who have helped during what has been a hugely complex and highly emotional investigation.
"Today's development is not the outcome any of us would have wanted, but we hope that it can at least start to provide some answers for Nicola's loved ones, who remain foremost in our thoughts."
Body found in river confirmed as Nicola Bulley_Original Video_m228297
The 45-year-old was last spotted on Friday, January 27, while walking her dog along a riverside footpath near St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire.
She was missing for 23 days, with search teams scouring the local area in an intense hunt for the mum-of-two.
Detective Chief Superintendent Pauline Stables then read a statement from the family where they paid tribute to Ms Bulley, saying: "We will never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments and that will never leave us.
"We will never forget Nikki, how could we, she was the centre of our world, she was the one who made our lives so special and nothing will cast a shadow over that.
"Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most."
The family also used their statement to hit out at "shameful" media.
They ended saying: "Nikki, you are no longer a missing person, you have been found, we can let you rest now.
"We love you, always have and always will, we will take it from here."
Peter Faulding defends SGI team and the police in their search for Nicola Bulley
Reacting to the update, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was "devastating".
"My heart goes out to Nicola's partner, children, family and friends," he said.
Officers closed a road near where Nicola was last seen before announcing a few hours later that a body had been discovered.
The force had previously said the death was being treated as unexplained.