Three crucial Nicola Bulley clues that sparked dive expert to brand the case ‘odd’ as search teams scour river | The Sun

THREE clues led an expert diver leading the search for Nicola Bulley to brand the whole disappearance "odd".

Peter Faulding said today if his dive team cannot find the mum-of-two today, his "gut" feeling is there may be other reasons for her vanishing.

The search and rescue expert of 20 years said signs of drowning, lack of evidence at the scene and Nicola's clothing at the time suggest she may not be in the River Wyre.

Speaking to MailOnline, he said: "Normally when a person drowns, if they are left a number of days they don't move very far.

"This is not a fast tidal river. So I would have expected her to be found by the police divers by now."

He went on to tell reporters that he believes Nicola may not be in the river "at all".

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Analysing her January 27 disappearance further, Mr Faulding said it "feels odd" there were no marks at the scene.

He added how it was also peculiar that not one person heard screams or that she was wearing clothes that would have absorbed water quickly.

Despite his reservations, he said: "We are putting the maximum into this. We just want to help the family. The more hands on deck, the better.

"There is a missing part of a jigsaw that cannot be completed. It is all a bit odd."

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On Tuesday, Mr Faulding also alleged Nicola's phone – found still connected to a meeting when she vanished – may also be a "decoy".

The leader of Specialist Group International (SGI) – who are scouring the river for the mum – even has a "gut" feeling a third party could be responsible.

He told BBC Breakfast today: “If Nicola is not in that stretch of river today my view is that there is a third party involved and this was a decoy placed by the river.

“It could have been placed as a decoy, there is not enough CCTV to cover particular areas here. The police are working hard in the background to cover everything.

“It’s so unusual, we’ve got no clear information to go on."

He explained he had a similar incident in the search for missing Laura Torn in 2003 where a stiletto was placed to distract investigators.

But Nicola's case has left him "well and truly baffled", the veteran diver of 25 years told TalkTV.

Police continue to work on the hypothesis that the mortgage worker "sadly" fell into the River Wyre.

It comes as cops focus search efforts on a track from the fields, where Nicola was last seen, to Garstang Road in St Michael's on Wyre.

Lancashire Constabulary said on Tuesday they believe this route may hold vital clues and have appealed to drivers and cyclists to come forward with any dashcam footage from the morning of January 27 when the mum vanished.

In a statement, the force said they used data from the mum's fitbit fitness watch and mobile phone to scale up efforts on the path.

They added: "We have also spoken to numerous witnesses… and searched the derelict house on the other side of the river as well as any empty caravans in the vicinity."

The force said they will be sending letters to travellers who they think may have been driving down Garstang Road that morning.

Only drivers with dashcam footage are asked to email [email protected] to let police know.

Nicola's pal Emma White said police had been working to get data off the missing mum's fitbit fitness watch.


Yesterday's search for Nicola, 45, focused downstream on the tidal area of the River Wyre but Tuesday's search will take place further upstream.

The search area will include and go beyond the area where Nicola's belongings were found on a bench near Garstang Road, in St Michael's on Wyre.

It is a non-tidal area of the river.

Mr Faulding explained: "If Nicola is in the river, she could have even fallen further up, we don't know.

"The key focus has been around the bench area, we have got to rule out everything here.

"We can't just go for the bench, we have got to cover the whole stretch of river to make sure there is no untoward circumstances here."

The mum, from nearby Inskip, disappeared after dropping her children off at school on Friday January 27.

She was last seen around 9.15am that day.

On Monday Lancashire Police released fresh CCTV images of Nicola from the day she disappeared.

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In a statement released the same day through cops, partner Paul Ansell said: "I have two little girls who miss their mummy desperately and who need her back."

And a heartbreaking video of her kids looking at search helicopters heard Sophia, six, say: "Them helicopters, they're looking for mummy."

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