Nicola cops reveal reasons why missing mum was classed as 'vulnerable' from the moment she went missing | The Sun

POLICE have revealed the "vulnerabilities" Nicola Bulley had that made her a high risk missing person.

Nicola, 45, disappeared while walking her dog on January 27 in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire.

Lancashire Police today confirmed Nicola was treated as a high risk missing person after being made aware of "vulnerabilities" by her partner Paul Ansell.

Officers said earlier they would not be drawn on what these vulnerabilities were but have now released further information.

Nicola Bulley cops today revealed:

  • Nicola Bulley cops say the missing mum was deemed 'high risk' due to 'vulnerabilities'
  • Detectives revealed in a press conference today they are investigating three possible scenarios over her disappearance
  • But cops insisted there is still no suggestion of a third party being involved
  • Police are now taking over her social media accounts as part of the investigation
  • Follow our blog for the latest news

Police said: "Nicola’s family continue to be our absolute focus and our thoughts remain with them.

"We have specially trained officers who continue to support them and update them daily.

"We have described how Nicola had some vulnerabilities at the time she went missing and we just wanted to expand on that a little.

"Sadly, it is clear from speaking to Paul and the family that Nicola had in the past suffered with some significant issues with alcohol which were brought on by her ongoing struggles with the menopause and that these struggles had resurfaced over recent months.

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"This caused some real challenges for Paul and the family.

"As a result of those issues, a response car staffed by both police and health professionals attended a report of concern for welfare at Nicola’s home address on January 10th.

"No one has been arrested in relation to this incident, but it is being investigated.

"It is an unusual step for us to take to go into this level of detail about someone’s private life, but we felt it was important to clarify what we meant when we talked about vulnerabilities to avoid any further speculation or misinterpretation.

"We have explained to Nicola’s family why we have released this further information and we would ask that their privacy is respected at this difficult time."

The development comes after Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith confirmed their "main working hypothesis" remains that Nicola fell in the river.

But she revealed two other theories for her disappearance – Nicola leaving the area voluntarily and third party involvement.

DS Smith said: "There is not a single piece of information or evidence to suggest there is any third-party involvement."

There is also nothing to suggest Nicola left the field voluntarily.

Asked if she hoped to find her alive, DS Smith said: "I hope with all my heart that we find Nicola Bulley alive more than anything."

The nation has been gripped by Nicola's disappearance after her mobile was found on a bench still connected to a work conference call.

Nicola’s pet springer spaniel Willow was also found – but there was no trace still of the mum-of-two.

Lancashire Police said previously their “main working hypothesis” is that Nicola had “sadly fallen in the river”.

But the force has been criticised for focusing so heavily on the theory by experts and Nicola's friends and family.

Her partner Paul Ansell believes "something happened" on the day she disappeared as people do not just "vanish into thin air".

Officers previously released a timeline of the missing mum’s final movements before she disappeared.

Nicola began her walk along the towpath to the River Wyre at 8.43am after dropping her two children off at school.

Police say around seven minutes later, a dog walker who knows Nicola saw her walking around the lower field with her springer spaniel Willow.

The witness said their two dogs interacted briefly before she left Nicola via the river path.

At 8.53am, the mum sent an email to her boss at Exclusively Mortgages.

She then logged into a Teams call at 9.01am and was seen around nine minutes later on the upper field walking Willow.

Police say at 9.30am, the work call ended but Nicola stayed logged on.

At around 9.35am, the mobile and Willow were found at a bench by the river but there was no sign of Nicola.

Police are probing a two hour gap between Nicola's last sighting and when she was reported missing at 11am.

Nicola has been described as white, 5ft 3ins tall with light-brown shoulder-length hair.

She was last seen wearing an ankle-length black quilted gilet jacket with a black Engelbert Strauss waist-length coat underneath and black tight-fitting jeans.

She had long green walking socks tucked into her jeans, ankle-length green Next wellies, a necklace and a pale blue Fitbit on.

Nicola has an Essex accent and links to the Thornton-Cleveleys area near Blackpool.

Anybody with information about where she might be is asked to call 101, quoting log 473 of January 27, or ring 999 for immediate sightings.

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