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 'distract' the investigation.
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 'distract' the investigation. Picture: Social media / Lancashire Police / Alamy

By Chris Samuel

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.

Read more: Rishi Sunak says UK stands 'ready to support all allies' to supply Ukraine with fighter jets to 'now'

Read more: Hollywood star Keanu Reeves has newly-found fungus-killing compound named after 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.

In a video posted on social media, two men appear to be a searching copse near the River Wyre, where she disappeared.
In a video posted on social media, two men appear to be a searching copse near the River Wyre, where she disappeared. Picture: Social media

“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.

Ms Bulley has now been missing for three weeks.
Ms Bulley has now been missing for three weeks. Picture: Alamy

"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.”

Nicola Bulley was last seen on the morning of January 27.
Nicola Bulley was last seen on the morning of January 27. Picture: Lancashire Police

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.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Election 2024 Michigan

Joe Biden and Donald Trump win Michigan primaries

Dwelaniyah Robinson

Mum accused of murdering her son ‘beat him with a bamboo cane because the Bible told her to’, court hears

Ben McBean (centre) lost his arm and his leg to a Taliban bomb

'How disabled do I have to be?': War hero Ben McBean, who lost his arm and leg in Afghanistan, ‘stripped of blue badge’

General Sir Patrick Sanders was given a dressing down for his remarks

Army chief’s call for citizen army ‘infuriated’ No10 as top general called in for ‘dressing down’

South Korea Koreas Tensions

South Korean and US troops will begin major exercises next week

Texas Wildfires

Texas nuclear weapons facility pauses operations as wildfires spread

James Cleverly announced the £31m package.

Home Office unveils £31m security package as Cleverly vows to 'protect MPs from intimidation'

World leaders have rejected Macron's idea.

World leaders reject Macron’s plan to send Nato troops to Ukraine in bid to stop 'Russia winning the war'

The pair speak about their relationship in the new doc.

Inside Jennifer Lopez’s rekindled romance with Ben Affleck: J Lo reveals reason pair reunited after years apart

Some of the renovation requests on his £7m home have been rejected.

Gordon Ramsay faces renovation setback on £7m home as council rejects chef's bid for new security gates

Salvatore Mancuso

Warlord Mancuso is extradited back to Colombia after serving sentence in US

Jam Master Jay

Godson and friend convicted in murder of Run-DMC rapper Jam Master Jay

Two men have been convicted over the murder of Jam Master Jay.

Run-DMC star Jam Master Jay's godson and childhood friend both found guilty of his murder

Jair Bolsonaro

Bolsonaro under investigation for allegedly harassing a humpback whale

A lawyer who represented 'murdered' Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny has been arrested in Moscow, Russian news has reported

Navalny's lawyer 'arrested in Moscow' after helping Russian opposition leader's mother obtain body from authorities

Former Tory MP Scott Benton has been suspended from the Commons.

Former Tory MP suspended from Commons over role in lobbying sting as Rishi Sunak faces fresh by-election headache