Body of missing British mom, Nicola Bulley found in River Wyre

Body of missing British mom, Nicola Bulley found in River Wyre

Weeks after going missing while out for a dog walk in Northern England in January, the corpse of missing British mom, Nicola Bulley was discovered and identified by the UK Police on Monday.

At a press conference held on Monday, Lancashire Police announced that the body found in the River Wyre on Sunday, not far from the location where 45-year-old Bulley was last seen, is indeed hers.

Assistant Chief Constable Peter Lawson told reporters that, “Sadly, we are now able to confirm that yesterday we recovered Nicola Bulley from the River Wyre.

“Nicola’s family have been informed and are of course devastated. Our thoughts are with them at this time, as well as with all her loved ones and the wider community”.

The announcement brings to a close a tumultuous and emotional few weeks in which police came under fire for widespread accusations of sexism in their probe and a social media frenzy around her abduction became embroiled in erroneous claims and conspiracy theories.

A mortgage advisor named Bulley vanished early on January 27th. She dropped off her two children at school and then, according to the police, went for a dog walk.

A short while later, her dog was discovered wandering alone, and her phone, which was still connected to a group work call, was discovered on a seat by the river. Yet the Lancashire Police hunt for three weeks turned up nothing.

Lancashire Police’s Detective Chief Superintendent Pauline Stables read a statement on behalf of Nicola’s family on Monday, in which they said the body identification had confirmed their “worst fears.” “We will never be able to comprehend what Nicky had gone through in her last moment,” it said.

“Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most. It saddens us to think that one day we will have to explain to them that the press and members of the public accused their dad of wrongdoing (and) misquoted and vilified friends and family. This is absolutely appalling. They have to be held accountable. This cannot happen to another family,” the statement added.

READ ALSO: Social Media urged to take action after Son Heung-min was abused online

During the inquiry, Lancashire police officials have maintained that there is no evidence to suggest outside interference, and their main working theory has remained that she fell into the River Wyre.

Police also – unusually – decided to mention that Bulley had been battling with alcohol troubles and menopause at the time of her disappearance, which further confused the public and garnered significant media attention to the case.

Last week, investigators harshly criticised members of the public for spreading “persistent misconceptions,” according to their claims.

Lancashire Police Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith told journalists on Wednesday that the social media frenzy had “significantly distracted” the investigation. “In 29 years’ police service, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Smith said.

Social media users “playing private detectives” and pedalling “persistent myths” on Tik Tok had “significantly distracted” the investigation, Smith told journalists last week.

The family also fiercely rebuked journalists in their statement, lambasting some major UK media outlets as “shameful” for making direct contact with the family when they “expressly asked for privacy.”

Lancashire Police’s decision to reveal personal details about Bulley sparked widespread criticism, with many accusing the force of sexism. Even the government slammed the police, with Home Secretary Suella Braverman raising concerns over its handling of the case.

Stephanie Benyon, a friend of Bulley’s whose children attend the same school, previously told CNN that she is a “kind, loyal and thoughtful person who adores her two girls and family and friends.” Bulley’s partner of 12 years, Paul Ansell, had described the situation as a “perpetual hell.”