The Lancashire Police have discovered a body in the River Wyre near Rawcliffe Road, but they have not yet confirmed if it is the body of Nicola Bulley. Bulley, a mother of two who worked as a mortgage adviser, went missing during a dog walk with her springer spaniel Willow along the riverbank in St Michael’s on Wyre in Lancashire three weeks ago. Her phone and dog were found on a bench near the river. The police believe that she went into the river and that her disappearance was not suspicious.
The police conducted a major search operation that drew significant interest from the public. However, they issued dispersal notices and warnings over anti-social behavior after people started spreading various theories on social media. Bulley’s family expressed concern that the public’s focus had shifted from finding her to speculation and rumors.
The police faced backlash after revealing Bulley’s struggles with the menopause and alcohol. Her family was aware of the details beforehand and expressed that the police’s disclosure had distracted from the search for Bulley. The disclosure of her personal details also raised widespread concerns, including from the prime minister and home secretary. The Lancashire Police will conduct an internal review into its investigation.
Local residents hired a security firm following concerns about people visiting the village, including social media influencers who were trying to open doors and peering through windows. One influencer was detained and fined after posting that he had been in “people’s back gardens at night-time with torches.” The number of people visiting the scene was deemed catastrophic for the collection of evidence. Two people were arrested after malicious messages were sent to parish councillors in relation to the case.
The Lancashire Police informed Bulley’s family of the recent developments and requested that their privacy is respected. The death is currently being treated as “unexplained.”
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