Nicola Bulley: Friends of missing mother-of-two in ‘last push’ appeal to ‘bring Nikki home’ as search extended to coast | UK News
Friends of Nicola Bulley have gathered for a “last push” roadside appeal two weeks on from her disappearance – after police extended the search for the missing mother-of-two to the Lancashire coast.
The 45-year-old went missing while walking her dog in St Michael’s on Wyre on Friday 27 January after dropping her daughters off at school.
Emma White, a friend of Ms Bulley, is among members of the local community on Friday standing roadside in the Lancashire village with banners and placards featuring her photograph, in a plea to “bring Nikki home”.
She told Sky News: “The community has united once again and it’s a real last push to jog people’s memories.
“We just need to bring Nikki home.”
More questions than answers
A fortnight on from Ms Bulley’s disappearance, the small rural village is no longer the same. The police presence in the quaint village has been overwhelming for many who live nearby.
It is the epicentre of a mystery that has captured the nation’s attention but more importantly, it’s the scene of a major police operation to find a mother to two young girls.
Over the last two weeks the community has banded together to try and find any trace of evidence relating to Ms Bulley’s disappearance: Dog walkers, friends, teachers from her daughters’ school – all searching in hope for some answers.
But after 14 days of not knowing what has happened to the mortgage adviser, the case poses more questions than answers.
Ms Bulley’s family are still praying she will come home, safe and well.
Search moves to the coast
The focus of the police search operation has now shifted from where Ms Bulley vanished to further downstream, towards where the River Wyre empties into the Irish Sea at Morecambe Bay.
Officers have confirmed they are focusing on the mouth of the river, with Lancashire Police suggesting finding Ms Bulley “in the open sea becomes more of a possibility”.
Sky News understands specialist diving units have also been deployed to scour parts of the 15km stretch of river from the bench where her phone and dog were found to the bay.
After three days of helping the police search the waterway near to where Ms Bulley was last seen, a team of specialist divers that regularly assist police with underwater searches found no trace of her.
Nicola Bulley’s movements before she vanished
Police looking at 500 active pieces of information in search
Images released of Nicola Bulley on day she disappeared
Peter Faulding of Specialist Group International (SGI), whose team were equipped with a £55,000 side-scan sonar able to pick up objects underwater, told reporters he believes it is “unlikely” she has been swept out to sea.
“My personal view is that I think it is a long way to go in a tidal river,” he said.
Ms White said the fact that nothing had been found had given her renewed hope.
“To not find a key, welly, hat or jewellery, or a watch or anything – we are clinging on – whether it’s hope… we think she is not in there.”
‘We need her back’
Ms Bulley’s partner Paul Ansell has told Sky News the last two weeks have been “a rollercoaster ride”.
He says he is trying to do everything to make life as normal as possible for his two daughters. But increasingly they are asking more and more questions about their mummy and where she is.
In a voice note he sent to Sky News, he spoke of his pain and desperation for answers: “We need her back. We have to find her safe ad well. I can’t put those girls to bed again without no answers.”
Lancashire Police have dismissed any suggestion Ms Bulley is a victim of crime and say the scale of the missing person inquiry is “unprecedented”, involving 40 detectives and following 500 lines of inquiry.
Meanwhile, police have been given extra powers to break up groups causing a nuisance in the village following reports of people travelling into the area and filming properties on social media.