Nicola Bulley police divers ‘are looking for specific missing object in river where mother died’, claims forensic pathologist as officers comb waters
Police investigating Nicola Bulley’s death are reportedly looking for a ‘specific’ item that is missing from where she died, a forensic pathologist has claimed.
Specialist police diving crews were filmed in the River Wyre in Lancashire on Tuesday, April 4 less than a mile from the bank where Nicola disappeared on January 27, sparking a huge 23-day manhunt.
The mother-of-two, 45, went missing after walking her dog near the river in St Michael’s on Wyre.
The search for her involved police, the fire service, mountain rescue, diving teams and the local community – but her body was tragically found in the river on February 20.
Ms Bulley’s partner Paul Ansell, 44, raised the alarm after a villager found their spaniel running loose close to a bench overlooking the river. Ms Bulley’s mobile phone had been left on the bench.
Police (pictured in the River Wyre) investigating Nicola Bulley’s death are reportedly looking for a ‘specific’ item that is missing from where she died, a forensic pathologist has claimed
Mother-of-two Nicola Bulley (pictured), 45, went missing after walking her dog near the river in St Michael’s on Wyre.
Dr James Adeley, Senior Coroner for Lancashire, has asked Lancashire Police to return to the water for investigative work to help confirm her cause of death and what happened before she was found.
A senior national police source, with experience of similar cases, told MailOnline earlier this week that the decision to send divers back in shows how seriously the investigation is being taken.
‘The coroner clearly wants more answers and potential evidence’, the insider added.
Forensic pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd, who worked on important cases such as the Stephen Lawrence investigations and was called as an expert in the trial of Harold Shipman has said the police are looking for a missing object, the Mirror reports.
He told the paper that he was ‘struggling to see’ what they could now be looking for that would be affect or influence Nicola’s cause of death.
Dr Shepherd added that the morgue would have done a post-mortem to uncover any natural diseases in her system, injuries and samples for alcohol and drugs.
He said that he thought they were looking for an ‘artefact of some sort’ that they cannot find but they believe is in the river. He says that police would not want a member of the public to find it.
He said it was unlikely that police were trying to reconstruct how her body travelled down the river as there are too many variables, such as reeds and branches getting in the way and the exact river flow, to properly repeat it.
The coroner has ordered Lancashire Police to return to the river to help with Nicola’s upcoming inquest, which will determine her cause of death
Police had twice searched the area where Nicola was found before a member of the public discovered her body in the reeds
Nicola Bulley, pictured with her partner Paul Ansell, disappeared while walking her dog on January 27. She was found dead 23 days later
An inquest into Nicola’s death is to be heard on Monday, June 26, at County Hall in Preston.
Lancashire Police confirmed this week that the divers returned to the River Wyre as part of the investigation into Nicola Bulley’s death.
‘We can confirm this is us carrying out some work at the direction of HM Coroner,’ a police spokesman told the Lancashire Post.
A spokesman for HM Coroner said earlier this week: ‘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.
‘As part of this process, HM Senior Coroner has requested Lancashire Constabulary produce information gathered during the search for Ms Bulley so it can be considered as part of the investigation.’