• Mon. Feb 27th, 2023

Nicola Bulley search: Seven clues police need to focus on, according to former top detectives

ByGurinderbir Singh

Feb 12, 2023

Police need to focus on seven key clues in the search for missing woman Nicola Bulley, two former top detectives say.

Nicola, 45, disappeared after dropping her children off at school in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, northwest England, on Friday January 27.

Mr Williams-Thomas says he would have cordoned off the area near the bench where Nicola’s phone and dog harness were found “within 48 hours”, reports The Sun.

The scene has remained open to the public and has attracted ghouls, with some seen filming themselves on the notorious bench.

Mr Neville added: “There could have been something of forensic value there.”

Dog, phone, harness

Mr Neville said the discovery of these items on the now notorious bench makes him feel “something is really wrong”.

He suggests Willow, the brown spaniel with Nicola on the walk before she vanished, may have “knocked her in the river” when running around off the lead.

The ex-Detective said a lack of “foot slip marks” or disturbed ground on the riverbank should not rule out that she “most likely” fell in.

The mutt was later found near the bench, wandering around dry when discovered by a walker.


Mr Neville suggested Nicola’s FitBit, worn the day she vanished, “will show her heartbeat” and data could show if this stopped at any time or changed.

If set up in a particular way, the waterproof fitness device may have synched crucial data with her phone, discovered on the bench after she vanished.

It is yet unclear whether police have been able to access data from Nicola’s wrist device.

Third party

Every single person caught on CCTV at the time of Nicola’s disappearance has been located – but this does not rule out those who weren’t captured on CCTV.

“Police will also be looking at registered sex offenders that are in or anywhere near the area”, Mr Neville said.

This key inquiry could allow cops to build up a complete picture to both rule out and probe further possible third parties.

Police have rejected third party and criminal involvement but say they are keeping an “open mind” on Nicola’s disappearance.

Other paths

Despite agreeing on balance with cops’ theory Nicola fell in the river, Nicola leaving the field she vanished from via a path should not be ruled out, Mr Neville said.

Three paths lead to the River Wyre, two of which are covered by cameras.

But the ex-cop suggests there is a possibility the mum-of-two could have exited the field in an “unconventional” way by “scrambling”.

“Has anything happened there, or is there any evidence that might have been missed?” he added.

‘More to this’

Mark Williams-Thomas told MailOnline how police giving an impression they have more knowledge, in contrary to what the family are saying in their appeals, could hold the “sad” truth.

He explained: “I have investigated enough murders and missing people and this to me seems like there is something more to it.

“Something pretty sad.”

Despite this, he did stress he never liked to give “over-credit” that the police may know more than the public.

But he insists he himself would have treated Nicola’s case as a “murder or abduction” within 48 hours.

The story originally appeared in The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.

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