UPDATE: Nicola Bulley had alcohol and menopausal issues say police

Park bench where Nicola Bulleys phoine was found - Image Twitter Lancashire Police

19:07 (February 15) – Lancashire police have issued another statement following this morning’s briefing in which they said she suffered significant issues.

Their statement said: “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.

“This caused some real challenges for Paul and the family.”

They add that police had attended her home on January 10 following “concerns for her welfare.”

According to Sky News no one was arrested in relation to the incident with the investigation still ongoing.

16:11 (February 15) – An update provided via Facebook by Lancashire police today gave further insight into why their enquiry has focused on the area it has.

In particular, they refer to a number of unspecified vulnerabilities that were highlighted by her partner resulting in the police listing her as a “high-risk” missing person. Those vulnerabilities have according to Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith determined the line of their investigation.

The police have declined to provide further details with respect to the family.

Continuing they said there is not a single piece of evidence thus far that suggests a third party was involved, and therefore the main hypothesis remains that she fell into the river.

They have, however, not ruled out third-party involvement or that she could´ve left the area voluntarily. There is, however, a ten-minute gap where the police cannot account for her whereabouts.

Detectives have trawled through hundreds of hours of footage but nothing has been seen that is out of the ordinary, plus some 300 people have been interviewed. All the footage at the entrance to the area where she walked her dog doesn´t show her leaving the area.

In terms of the phone being left on the bench. Bulley was apparently listening in to a meeting and was not actively involved which she often did by holding it out in front of her or by putting it down next to her.

They concluded by saying that the enquiry team were being inundated with speculation and rumours which was hampering the investigation, but they continue to review some 500 pieces of information including trying to trace the red van.

Finally, they have reissued a call for the owner of the red van and the fisherman who were in the area on the day to make contact with the police.

16:42 (February 14) – Nicola Bulley´s husband has been in touch with Mercedes-Benz to see if they are able to trace her car keys.

Bulley is said to have had her car keys with her at the time of her disappearance and the hope is that the luxury car company may be able to track them.

According to Paul Ansell, the keys are described “with a couple of Mercedes keyrings on it, one black and one blue, a round wooden key ring with paw prints on it, and a couple of normal keys.”

It is possible the keys have been picked up or can be traced.

The pòlice have also confirmed that they have been searching a local caravan park for the second time and that the search has moved downstream from where her mobile phone and dog were found.

08:36 (February 14) – Forensic search specialist Peter Faulding has called on the police and the general public to widen their search for Nicola Bulley.

Convinced that she is not in the river, Faulding told the Times: “People in the wider vicinity for several miles around St Michael’s should be looking for any suspicious activity.”

He added that people should be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary or any suspicious activity that may have taken place in the days and hours before Bulley´s disappearance.

Saying it was time to look at all options he said if she is in the woods he will find her, at the same time providing the police with maps of the area and guidance on where a body could be hidden. These he said would be ditches, hedgerows and wooded areas – anywhere you could hide while ditching a body.

The advice comes as the mother of Libby Squire who was found seven weeks later in the Humber estuary after disappearing in 2019. She has told the family not to give up hope in the search for her.

14:34 (February 13) Lancashire police are said to be keeping an open mind as the theories behind the disappearance of Nicola Bulley grow.

The latest news on Monday, February 13 is that the top investigator who exposed Jimmy Saville and who worked on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is being brought in to assist in the search. Journalist Mark Williams-Thomas is a former detective.

Local newspapers have also reported that the police have discounted foul play but are keeping an open mind as they continue their search in and around the river Wyre and Morecambe Bay.

A massive emergency service presence remains in the area but has so far only yielded more questions, particularly in light of Bulley´s mobile phone, still connected to a work meeting, having been left on the park bench and her dog´s agitation at her disappearance.

Police continue to focus on the possibility that she drowned, repeating the theory in a meeting with village residents over the weekend. Partner Paul Ansell has also said that his gut instinct is that she drowned, however the underwater search team who trawled the river using the latest sonar equipment thinks otherwise.

But police continue to have few clues with just two witnesses suggesting that they saw people behaving suspiciously in the area around the time of her disappearance. So far they have not made any public calls for the people identified by witnesses to contact them, further infuriating those who believe they have not followed all clues to her disappearance and in time.

Whether bringing in the top investigator who worked on the Saville and McCann cases will make a difference remains to be seen, although a clean set of eyes may view the evidence differently.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.