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Outrage after TikTok video circulates showing amateur sleuth 'digging in woodland near where Nicola Bulley vanished'
18 February 2023, 21:59 | Updated: 19 February 2023, 00:10
A video posted on social media showing a "TikTok detective" apparently digging near where missing mother-of-two Nicola Bulley disappeared has sparked outrage, as police urge amateur sleuths not to interfere with the investigation.
Since the dog-walker vanished in January, conspiracy theories have been rife on social media, with amateur sleuths travelling to St Michael’s on Wyre, prompting pushback from locals and the police.
Lancashire Police have urged people to stay away from the area, and senior investigators have warned that social media sleuths have “distracted” the investigation into her disappearance.
In a video posted online, two men appear to be a searching copse near the River Wyre, where she disappeared.
One of the men is seeing digging up a patch of ground while the other films him.
Speaking to MailOnline, a local dog walker who gave his name said: “This TikTok stuff is ridiculous. It’s a lot of people playing armchair detectives and speculating about things they don’t know anything about.
“It’s not helping the police at all. These videos just attract more people who haven’t got anything to contribute but just want to be part of it.
“It’s really disrespectful to Nicola’s family to have people who don’t know anything about it making comments and sticking their noses in.
"There’s even people filming themselves digging in some of the woods nearby. It’s shocking.”
A spokesperson for the police told The Independent: “We’re aware of this incident, we’re looking into it and any criminal acts will be investigated.
Local council chief Michael Vincent told the Sunday Mirror: “We have made it very clear that online amateur sleuths should not be coming to St Michael’s interfering with the investigation and causing concern to the local community.
"They are a continuing distraction to the case and our efforts to trace Nicola.”
Local council leader Michael Vincent told the Sunday Mirror: “It’s almost as though social media idiocy and reality have become blurred.
“We’ve had these weirdos, these ghouls, trying people’s door handles, peering through their windows.
“There has to be an element of decency. We can’t allow social media to be a place where there is no morality.”
It comes after social media influencer Dan Duffy was arrested and fined for posting videos from the search scene.
He was issued with £90 fine after being arrested a week ago for a public order offence.
Ms Bulley disappeared after dropping off her daughters at school on January 27.
Her phone, and her dog lead was found a bench next to the river, and despite searches of the river and surrounding areas, she is yet to be found.