The partner of Nicola Bulley has told of his “agony” after police found a body in the search for the missing mother-of-two.
The body, which has not yet been formally identified, was found on Sunday morning in the River Wyre around a mile from where the 45-year-old mortgage adviser was last seen.
In a message to Sky News, her partner Paul Ansell said: “No words right now, just agony. We’re all together, we have to be strong.”
Nicola had been walking her dog in St Michael’s on Wyre after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, at school when she went missing on January 27.
The body was spotted by members of the public who called emergency services at around 11.36am. An underwater search team and specialist officers subsequently attended the scene, entered the water and have recovered the body, a Lancashire Police spokesperson added.
“No formal identification has yet been carried out, so we are unable to say whether this is Nicola Bulley at this time,” a Lancashire Police spokesperson said. “Procedures to identify the body are on-going. We are currently treating the death as unexplained. Nicola’s family have been informed of developments and our thoughts are with them at this most difficult of times. We ask that their privacy is respected.”
A police helicopter was spotted circling the site, near the river in St Michaels on Wyre, Lancashire. Divers arrived at the scene - less than a mile from where Nicola was last seen close to Rawcliffe Road. Two people - a man and a woman - were seen pointing to a spot in the River Wyre as drones and the helicopter hovered overhead.
As reported by sister title the Lancashire Post, a police car stood watch, apparently refusing to let locals or journalists within a half-mile distance, before a spokesperson for Lancashire Police confirmed “there is a search at the moment” but could not reveal any more.
The discovery could signal the end of a three-week search for the missing mum, whose disappearance sparked national interest. Her phone and the family’s pet dog were found at the scene, near the Wye, prompting speculation over what had happened. Police later revealed Nicola had suffered with issues related to the peri-menopause in the months leading up to her disappearance.