Three reasons why it may have taken so long to find Nicola Bulley’s body

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Missing mother Nicola Bulley was finally found on Sunday, around a mile away from where she was last seen on the river in St Michael’s on Wyre in Lancashire.

Ms Bulley had disappeared on 27 January while walking her dog after dropping her children off at school earlier that morning.

Police said two walkers, who used a path well trodden by officers, found her and the body was formally identified the following day.

Flowers, and ribbons on a bridge over the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire after police announced they had found a body


She was found in an area of the river that had already been searched by rescue teams, leading to questions as to how she went undiscovered for more than three weeks.

Peter Faulding, the head of Specialist Group International, said he was “100 per cent sure” Ms Bulley was not in the river after his team searched it during the second week of her disappearance.

Experts have said there are a number of reasons why Ms Bulley might not have been found sooner.

“Although the area where she was found is just within the tidal section, I doubt she moved up and down the river very far,” a professor who studies rivers told The Telegraph.

The professor, who did not want to be named, said he believed Ms Bulley was most likely in the same spot throughout the search operation.

It is not yet clear how long Ms Bulley had been in the water when she was found. Her death has been referred to the coroner.

“It is around five miles from where she was found until the estuary of the river,” the professor added.

The bench where Nicola Bulley’s phone was found

(PA Wire)

“It is extremely unlikely that she could have been right down in the estuary and then brought back up by the tidal flow. It’s really hard to be dogmatic but I would suspect they [search teams] just missed it.”

A second theory is that Ms Bulley’s body gradually moved d...