The sister of a missing mother who disappeared on a dog walk is urging members of the public to “keep an open mind” and continue the search.
Nicola Bulley, 45, was last seen next to the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire a week ago.
Lancashire Police said on Friday officers believed she had fallen into the river.
But Ms Bulley’s sister, Louise Cunningham, said there was “no evidence whatsoever” of that.
In a post on Facebook, she said: “Please keep sharing my Nikki”, adding that a river fall was “just a theory”.
She added: “Everyone needs to keep an open mind as not all CCTV and leads have been investigated fully, the police confirmed the case is far from over.”
A major search has been continuing, including police divers, drones, a helicopter and search and rescue teams but no trace of her has been found.
Police said their “working hypothesis is that she has fallen into the river for some reason”.
They said there was “no evidence” of anything suspicious.
Supt Sally Riley said: “There is absolutely nothing to suggest from all the extensive enquiries we have made that anything untoward has happened to [Ms Bulley] or that there is any third-party involvement in her disappearance.”
She said it remained a missing person inquiry.
Ms Bulley was last seen walking her dog Willow near the River Wyre after dropping off her children, aged six and nine, at school on the morning of 27 January.
The spaniel was found about 25 minutes after Ms Bulley was last seen by another dog walker at about 09:10 GMT.
Her phone was also found on a riverside bench – still connected to a work call.
One of Ms Bulley’s friends, Emma White, who has been helping in the search, said she believed “we’re actually no further on than sadly last Friday”.
“We still have no evidence and that’s why we’re out again in force.
“You don’t base life on a hypothesis, do you? You absolutely can have hypotheses but then you need something to back that hypothesis up to become factual.”
Detectives said they were “as confident as we can be that Nicola has not left the field where she was last seen and our working hypothesis is that she has fallen into the river for some reason”.
“Our investigation remains open and we will of course act on any new information which comes to light.”
Ms Bulley’s partner Paul Ansell said he would “never lose hope” of finding her.
Police have urged locals to look out along the river for clothing that Ms Bulley was last seen wearing.
This includes an ankle-length black quilted gilet jacket, a black Engelbert Strauss waist-length coat, black jeans, green walking socks, ankle-length green Next wellies, a necklace and a pale blue Fitbit.
Timeline of events
- 08:43 – Ms Bulley walked along the path by the River Wyre, having dropped her children off at school
- 08:47 – A dog walker who knows Ms Bulley saw her walking along the lower field.
- 08:53 – Ms Bulley sent an email to her boss
- 09:01 – She logged into a Teams call
- About 09:10 – A witness who knows Ms Bulley saw her on the upper field walking with her dog Willow
- 09:20 – Police inquiries suggest her phone was on the bench
- 09:30 – The Teams call ended but she stayed logged on
- About 09:35 – Ms Bulley’s mobile phone and Willow were found at a riverside bench
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