Nicola Bulley would have only ended up in ‘waist-deep’ water had she slipped and fallen into the river where she was walking her dog, a forensic search expert said today.
Peter Faulding believes that had the mother of two fallen down the bank she would have been easily able to stand up and wait for help rather than be swept away with the current.
He told MailOnline: ‘If she slipped down the bank she wouldn’t go far. The rocks would hold her in place and she’d only have been waist deep. She could have stood there and asked for help because people do walk by.
‘She’d have needed to be pushed extremely hard from behind to have launched herself into the deep water and experienced police divers have searched that thoroughly.’
Mr Faulding, a registered search expert with the National Crime Agency who has worked on numerous high profile missing person investigations, is convinced that had Ms Bulley ended up in the river her body would have been found.
He added: ‘Bodies don’t tend to move too far. If there were flood waters it would be different. But it wasn’t a raging torrent. The river was searched extremely thoroughly by the highly competent divers.’
Peter Faulding believes that had Nicola Bulley fallen down the bank she would have been easily able to stand up and wait for help rather than be swept away with the current
Mr Faulding is a registered search expert with the National Crime Agency who has worked on numerous high profile investigations, including the case of serial killer Peter Tobin
The search for Ms Bulley, 45, is now entering its third week.
Mr Faulding, who has already carried out underwater searches for the missing mother, has urged locals to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary.
‘People in the wider vicinity for several miles around St Michael’s should be looking for any suspicious activity,’ he told The Times.
The 60-year-old is also calling for a wider land search to help locate Ms Bulley.
He told MailOnline that ‘if someone’s in the woods I will find them.’
Mr Faulding has given police a map of places a body may be hidden.
He said these are likely to be ‘ditches, hedgerows and wooded areas’ or anywhere it could be possible to park a car and dump a body without being seen.
Ms Bulley went missing while walking her dog in the Lancashire village of St Michael’s on Friday, January 27.
The search for Ms Bulley has been dogged by unfounded theories spread online by true crime cranks, conspiracy theorists and social media trolls.
Ms Bulley’s partner, Paul Ansell, attached a message to a bridge near to where she went missing reading: ‘Nikki I love you! Come home now’
Yesterday, Wyre Council said it had temporarily removed contact details for ‘parish and town council members’, as Lancashire Police confirmed it is investigating.
In a statement, Wyre Council leader Michael Vincent said: ‘We appreciate the emotional gravity of the situation; however we will not tolerate any form of abuse of any of our elected members of Wyre Borough Council or any of the town and parish councils within our borders or our staff.
‘The community has shown great strength and resilience during the investigation and we urge everyone to continue to show compassion and empathy.
‘It is a shame that we have had to take this step at such a difficult time and appropriate steps are being taken to ensure that residents are still able to contact their elected representatives.’
The council added: ‘Wyre Council will log any reports of abuse and these will be forwarded to the police. Please be respectful.’
Its chief executive Garry Payne said: ‘Everyone is deeply saddened by the ongoing Nicola Bulley case and our thoughts are with the family and friends.
‘We are supporting Lancashire Police where required and we urge everyone to remain respectful at this time.’
Lancashire Police spokesperson said: ‘This has been reported to us and inquiries are ongoing.’
Police activity near the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire
Ms Bulley’s friends have raised concerns about broken CCTV cameras near to where she went missing
Ms Bulley vanished while walking her springer spaniel Willow near the river, shortly after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, at school.
The mortgage adviser’s phone was found on a bench overlooking the river, still connected to a work call.
Police believe Ms Bulley may have ‘have fallen into the river for some reason’.
They have been searching from the river where she vanished to the sea.
The search in Morecambe Bay continued into its fifth day as officers on horseback surveyed elevated paths in the village of Knott End-on-Sea on Monday.
On Thursday, police extended the search for her body to the sea after detectives said finding her ‘in the open sea becomes more of a possibility’.
Last night, the mother of Libby Squire, who disappeared following a night out with friends in 2019, sent a message to Ms Bulley’s partner Paul Ansell urging him to never give up on searching for her.
‘Please don’t give up hope,’ Lisa said in comments reported by The Sun. Put one foot in front of the other and hope for that positive outcome. It’s the not knowing that’s so difficult.’
The mother of Libby Squire, who disappeared following a night out with friends in 2019, has sent a message to Ms Bulley’s partner Paul Ansell urging him to never give up on searching for her
Libby’s body was spotted in the Humber Estuary by a boat crew seven weeks after she went missing. Pawel Relowicz, a married father-of-two, was jailed for a minimum of 27 years for her murder
Libby’s body was spotted in the Humber Estuary by a boat crew seven weeks after she went missing.
Pawel Relowicz, a married father-of-two, was jailed for a minimum of 27 years for Libby’s murder.
Libby, a philosophy student at Hull University, had been out with friends when the killer chanced on her.
She caught a taxi home, which dropped her outside her house, but she didn’t go inside.
Drunk and dressed in party clothes, she had wandered in the wrong direction and laid down in the snow.
CCTV footage showed Libby, disoriented and possibly hypothermic, being ushered into a silver Vauxhall Astra which belonged to Relowicz, who lived half a mile from her house.