The Case of Nicola Bulley: Body Found, Inquest Opened & Reviews Launched

On Sunday 19 February at 1136am Lancashire Police were called to reports of a body in the River Wyre, close to Rawcliffe Road.

A body was recovered. In a short press conference on Monday 20 February, Lancashire Police confirmed that they had formally identified Nicola Bulley.

Detective Chief Superintendent Pauline Stables read out a heartbreaking statement from Nicola's family.

They said they 'will never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments and that will never leave us.

Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most.

Finally, Nikki, you are no longer a missing person, you have been found, we can let you rest now. We love you, always have and always will, we'll take it from here xx"

The family also said they were contacted by ITV and Sky news after they had expressly asked for privacy.

Ofcom have since launched an investigation into how and why this happened.

The Coroners Inquest opened this week and confirmed that Nicola Bulley was identified via dental records and the coroner, Dr James Adeley, said he needs more time for further evaluation regarding when and how Nicola died. It looks likely this will conclude in June, which seems a very long time to wait for this information to be made public. The coroner also confirmed that Nicola's body could be released for a family funeral to take place.

In this episode, Laura highlights the need for transparency and accountability of the media but also there needs to be in independent expert led review of police decision making in this case relating to: the delay in the appointment of the Senior Investigating Officer; the decision to share the working hypothesis; the decision to share information about Nicola's 'specific vulnerabilities' at the press conference; and, then release what those vulnerabilities were in a later police statement, as well as; the investigation and search parameters and how Nicola was missed during water and land searches.

Laura details the investigations and reviews that have now been launched including:
1. The Independent Office of Police Conduct;
2. An internal review by Detective Chief Superintendent Pauline Stables;
3. The College of Policing Review, and;
4. The Information Commissioner Review.

Laura also highlights that we should not lose sight of why people are so interested in Nicola's case and the decisions made by the police and the real need to ensure lessons are truly learned.

Nicola has now been found and her family must be allowed to grieve.

#NicolaBulley #RIPNicolaBulley