Almost three weeks on, mum of two, Nicola Bulley is still missing. Lancashire Police held a press conference on February 15th at Lancashire Police headquarters. Assistant Chief Constable Paul Lawson and Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith gave an update on the investigation.
Detective Superintendent Smith confirmed that she was the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) in the case and was appointed on Monday 30th January.
She explained that there was still no evidence of a criminal aspect or third party involvement and that she still believes that Nicola had "unfortunately gone in the river."
Detective Superintendent Smith explained that Nicola was designated a high risk missing person on Friday 27th January due to vulnerabilities reported by Paul Ansell, Nicola's husband. She said that she would not give further details about that.
Amongst other key points, Detective Superintendent Smith did clarify that: the phone data had been analysed; Nicola was not wearing a headphones; no further information was obtained from the Fitbit as it had not been synched, and; that the police were working on Nicola's social media accounts. The police did explain the river path was still an area of focus and the Garstang Road and that if anyone had dashcam footage for Friday 27 January to contact the police.
Following the press conference, in another concerning and puzzling twist in Nicola's case, Lancashire Police released a new statement saying that Nicola had "significant issues with alcohol brought on by her struggles with the menopause" and that "this caused real challenges for Paul and the family."
Laura is uncomfortable about this narrative and the timing of it and breaks down why in the video. Also, as previously stated, the first 72 hours of a case like Nicola's are very important. So what happened between the Friday that Nicola was reported missing and categorized as high risk and the Monday when Det. Supt. Smith was appointed as the SIO? Why mention at all three weeks on at a press conference that Nicola had 'vulnerabilities'? If they believed this information to be so relevant and important, why not release it in the first 72 hours when there was a more realistic chance of finding her? Why share your working hypothesis? Surely that leads to more people questioning why you believe this and what information corroborates this? Why re-state you believe Nicola never left the area, when there is no information that confirms this almost three weeks on?
There are many questions about Nicola's case and how it has been handled. We must stay focused on the fact Nicola is still missing. We have to help find her. Nicola's two little girls need their mummy.
Anyone with information or footage should call 101 and if you have footage e-mail NicolaBulleyInvestigation@lancashire.police.uk
Or submit information through the Major Incident Public Portal (MiPP) at Public Portal (mipp.police.uk)
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