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Crime News Missing Persons

Police Search For Woman Who Went Missing While Walking Dog And Fielding Work Conference Call

The Lancashire Constabulary in England suspects 45-year-old Nicola Bulley may have fallen into the River Wyre on Jan. 27. However, foul play has not yet been ruled out in the mysterious disappearance.

By Christina Coulter
A police handout of Nicola Bulley

Police in North West England are looking to the public for help finding a mortgage advisor who went missing while walking her dog in Lancashire two weeks ago. 

Nicola Bulley, 45, was last seen in the county just north of Manchester on Jan. 27, according to a press release from the Lancashire Constabulary.

She was reportedly walking her spaniel, Willow, along the River Wyre in the village of Saint Michael's on Wyre in Lancashire, close to her home in Inskip, according to The Daily Mail.

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Bulley logged into a Teams meeting at 9:01 a.m., according to police, and another person who knows Bulley personally spotted her walking in the area at 9:10 a.m. While the Teams call ended at 9:30 a.m., Bulley stay logged in, according to the Lancashire Constabulary release.

Another dog walker found Willow alone at a bench with Bulley's phone at approximately 9:33 a.m., but the woman was nowhere to be found. The phone was reportedly still connected to a work call.

A police handout of Nicola Bulley

Charlotte Drake, a neighbor and close friend of Bulley's, told Metro UK that the missing woman "would never have left Willow. Ever."

"Even in our small road Willow wouldn't go to the end of the drive without Nikki. There is no way Willow would ever leave her side, and vice versa."

Bulley was captured leaving her home with her two daughters on her Ring doorbell camera at 8:26 a.m., police said. A parent at the children's school told police they had a brief conversation with Bulley as they dropped off their children around 8:40 a.m. Bulley reportedly left her vehicle in the school's parking lot.

Willow and another dog interacted on a "lower field" area near the river at approximately 8:47 a.m., according to a police timeline. She sent an email to her boss at 8:53 a.m.

Since her disappearance, police have used sonar, search dogs, drones helicopters and surveillance cameras to search for the missing woman. 

Bulley's partner, Paul Ansell, urged the public to help police in a Feb. 6 statement: 

“It’s been ten days now since Nicola went missing and I have two little girls who miss their mummy desperately and who need her back. This has been such a tough time for the girls especially but also for me and all of Nicola’s family and friends, as well as the wider community and I want to thank them for their love and support," he said. 

"If anyone has any information which could help find Nicola, I urge them to get in touch with the police and help us provide the answers we all so badly need.”

Ansell revealed that the keys to Bulley's Mercedes are still missing.

"They were definitely on Nikki at the time, a huge bunch of keys, a Mercedes keyring with paw prints which she would have put in her coat pocket," he told Metro UK.

On Feb. 12, a witness told police that they saw two men "acting suspiciously" outside a church near the area where Bulley went missing a day before her disappearance, The Sun reported. 

Police suspect that Bulley "sadly fell into the river for some reason," but added that they "remain open minded, and we are continuing to carry out a huge number of enquiries." However, police divers have found no trace of the woman.

On Facebook, the department has discouraged the public from speculation in the mysterious case.

“We would like to remind people that much of the speculation and comments on social media are both unhelpful to the investigation and, more importantly, hurtful for the family, who are going through agony as they wait for answers," the Constabulary wrote.

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