Nicola Bulley: friends hold roadside appeal 14 days after disappearance

The friends Nicola Bulley will gather for another roadside appeal two weeks on from her disappearance.

Residents of the Lancashire village of St Michael’s on Wyre and the surrounding area are to stand in the road with banners and placards featuring Bulley’s photograph with a plea to “bring Nikki home”.

Police believe the 45-year-old mortgage adviser, who has a partner and two daughters, fell in the River Wyre while walking her springer spaniel, Willow, on 27 January.

Bulley’s friend Emma White told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday: “The local community are coming out again today to just raise that profile, trying to jog anybody’s memory, dashcam footage of Garstang Road, which is just outside of the village of St Michael’s on Wyre, just by the bridge that you go over.

“It is quite a key part of the village so people would remember going over it. Did they see anything?

“We’re out with banners, we’ve got placards of Nikki’s face, we’ve got a moving 8ft LED board with her face on it with the message ‘Bring Nikki home’. We just need Nikki home for her two beautiful little girls who need their mummy.”

The focus of the police search has shifted from where Bulley vanished to further downstream, towards where the River Wyre empties into the Irish Sea at Morecambe Bay.

A dinghy with two officers onboard could be seen on the water on Thursday, while an orange rescue boat was also spotted, appearing to be carrying out sweeps of the river off Knott End-on-Sea, at the mouth of the bay, about 10 miles from where Bulley’s phone was found on a bench, still connected to a work call.

White said the search had been “like torture”. She told the Today programme: “It is just a rollercoaster, it is almost like torture – the despair, the unimaginable frustration in the sense that everyone has come together, working so hard: the police, the community, people on the ground.

“You expect to be rewarded for when you put hard work in, so we just need something, anything, a piece of information that can lead us down a different inquiry.”

Lancashire constabulary has dismissed any suggestion that Bulley is a victim of crime, and said the scale of the missing person inquiry was “unprecedented”, involving 40 detectives and following 500 lines of inquiry.

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Multiple searches of the “hotspot” area near the bench, the suspected “entry point” of where Bulley went into the water, have been conducted by police divers and underwater search experts.

Bulley’s family called in help from Peter Faulding, of Specialist Group International, but after a three-day search earlier this week, no trace of Bulley was found.

Faulding said his searches confirmed Bulley was not in the section of river searched by his team and police divers, and described himself as “baffled” after ending his search.

Meanwhile, police were given extra powers to break up groups causing a nuisance in the village amid reports of people travelling into the area and filming properties on social media.