Nicola Bulley divers taking 'extremely rare' action as search for answers continues

Nicola Bulley

The body of Nicola Bulley was found 23 days after she vanished while out walking her dog

Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 14/04/2023

- 12:33

Divers returned to the spot where missing mum of two Nicola Bulley was found in a river

A former detective has revealed that the decision for police divers to return to the river Wyre where the body of Nicola Bulley was found is "extremely rare".

Police have returned to determine the cause of death, but ex-Met detective Peter Bleksley said is it strange for officers to be sent to a scene more than once.

Nicola vanished in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire on January 27 before her body was spotted less than a mile from where she went missing 23 days later.

Senior Coroner for Lancashire Dr James Adeley requested that Lancashire Police divers continue searching an area where the mum of two was found.

Family handout image of Nicola Bulley

Police divers have returned to the River Wyre to determine the cause of death


"It's quite common for the CPS in a complex case to send police officers to interview a witness, but it's extremely rare for forensic officers to be sent to a scene twice," Bleksley told the MailOnline.

"The police only ever get one chance to get it right. Here they are, many weeks after Nicola's body was found by a member of the public - not the police - and they're back there again at the behest or instructions of the coroner.

Bleksley, who appeared on Channel 4 show Hunted, added: "Throughout the hunt for Nicola Bulley, in my opinion, Lancashire Police got the messaging very wrong and now the imagery is not great.

"How thorough, how professional, how good were the initial searches? Clearly, the coroner has questions of the police, hence these specialists are back trying to find something that they manifestly didn't find all those weeks ago."

He claims police wanted to avoid "the embarrassment of an angler" finding something they were unable to locate.

Forensic pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd previously suggested that police may be looking for a missing object, however former detective superintendent Julie MacKay questioned the speculation.

MacKay said police could be gaining information on the river and its height and flow.

"It would be interesting to note the height of river levels today compared to the date that she went missing. It may be that they are gathering in formation regarding flow levels, height of the river, speed and how obstructions are presenting," she said.

The bench where Nicola Bulley's phone was found

Senior Coroner for Lancashire Dr James Adeley requested that Lancashire Police divers continue searching an area where Nicola Bulley's body was found


"If the river levels are not the same then there must be a new piece of information that is relevant and the Coroner is seeking to either corroborate, explain or discount it."

An inquest into her death is due to be heard on June 26.

A spokesman for HM Coroner said: "The investigation will take time to complete to ensure that as complete a picture as possible of the facts concerning Ms Bulley's death is presented at the inquest.

"This will assist the family in understanding what occurred."

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