The search for missing mum-of-two Nicola Bulley has now entered its 21st day and the work surrounding the investigation is continuing.

From Lancashire Constabulary:

We continue to comb the River Wyre and surrounding area down and out into the sea. We have also consulted with several national experts in their field, including environmental and tidal experts.

This investigation involves a dedicated team of more than 40 detectives sifting through hundreds of hours of CCTV and dashcam footage, speaking to numerous witnesses, carrying out digital enquiries and examining hundreds of pieces of information submitted by the public. The sole focus of our work has been to find Nicola, bring her home for her family and give them the answers that they so desperately need.

We are acutely aware that there has been and continues to be a huge amount of commentary and speculation which is damaging to the investigation, and we want to take you through exactly what we have been doing over the last 20 days.

Nicola was reported missing at 11am on Friday, January 27th and, due to vulnerabilities reported to us at the time, was immediately graded as a high-risk missing person.

Nicola’s family continue to be our absolute focus and our thoughts remain with them. We have specially trained officers who continue to support them and update them daily.

We have described how Nicola had some vulnerabilities at the time she went missing and we just wanted to expand on that a little.

Sadly, it is clear from speaking to Paul and the family that Nicola had in the past suffered with some significant issues with alcohol which were brought on by her ongoing struggles with the menopause and that these struggles had resurfaced over recent months. This caused some real challenges for Paul and the family.

As a result of those issues, a response car staffed by both police and health professionals attended a report of concern for welfare at Nicola’s home address on January 10th. No one has been arrested in relation to this incident, but it is being investigated.

It is an unusual step for us to take to go into this level of detail about someone’s private life, but we felt it was important to clarify what we meant when we talked about vulnerabilities to avoid any further speculation or misinterpretation.

We have explained to Nicola’s family why we have released this further information and we would ask that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.

Since then, we have done an unprecedented amount of work to try to find her.

Some of this work has included:

Visiting more the 300 premises.

Speaking to almost 300 people.

Receiving and acting upon around 1500 pieces of information received into the enquiry.

We have conducted physical searches of both the river and the land and have used specialist resources from the police and other agencies including underwater search teams, drones, horses, dogs and the police helicopter.

Because many of our key witnesses know Nicola, and there is a significant amount of CCTV coverage in this area, we have been able to, from very early on in the investigation, plot Nicola’s movements and significantly narrow down the timings, to focus on a period of time where we need to concentrate our enquiries.

What we have established is that:

Nicola was in the upper field at approximately 09.10

We know that her mobile phone is in the area of the bench at approximately 09.20

At approximately 09.33, a local dog walker finds Willow running around off her lead.

Nicola’s mobile phone is faced upwards on the bench.

Willow’s harness and lead were halfway between the bench and the river.

We are aware of reports in the media about a red van being reported to us and we would like to stress that while this has been reported to us and we are making efforts to identify the owner at this time there is nothing to suggest this was anything other than one of many hundreds of vehicles in the area that morning. The inquiry team are working through hundreds of pieces of information and reports such as this in the media can distract them from genuine enquiries.

Throughout this investigation we continue to keep an open mind about what might have happened to Nicola, and we continue to look at all the potential scenarios as we would in any major enquiry. Based on all the extensive work looking at CCTV, dashcam and other evidence, there is nothing to suggest that Nicola left the field. 

Due to this, we continue to believe the most likely scenario is that Nicola has fallen into the river. However, we continue to have a dedicated investigation team working on this enquiry. 

We will continue to be as transparent as we can be and to release information when we can, but you will appreciate that it must be factual.

Nicola is white, 45 years old, 5ft 3ins tall, with light brown shoulder-length hair. She speaks with an Essex accent. 

She was last seen wearing a long, knee length black quilted gilet with a hood. She had a black Engelbert Strauss coat underneath which had long sleeves and came to her waist. 

She was wearing tight black jeans and had long green walking socks tucked into her jeans. She was wearing size 5 ankle length green wellington boots from Next.

Her hair was tied into a ponytail. She was wearing a pale blue Fitbit.

Anyone with information or footage is asked to submit information through the Major Incident Public Portal (MiPP) at Public Portal (

More Details –