‘I don’t know how the police can say there’s no evidence of third-party involvement in this disappearance when they haven’t actually checked’
A forensic expert has branded the search for missing mum-of-two Nicola Bulley a “mess” and suggested key evidence may have been missed as the investigation entered its ninth day on Sunday.
The Mortgage broker was last seen at 9.10am on 27 January while walking her dog in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, having earlier dropped her daughters, aged six and nine, at school. Her phone, still connected to a work call, and the dogs lead and harness were found on a bench a short time later as police try and account for a missing 10 minutes.
Police said Friday that their “main working hypothesis” was that the 45-year-old had “accidentally” fallen into the River Wyre, something Nicola’s sister, Louise Cunningham later stressed “there was no evidence whatsoever” to back up.
On Saturday, police conceded there was “no evidence of a slip or a fall”.
Paul Ansell, on Saturday night said he still held out hope of finding his partner of 12 years, and that there was “no evidence” one way or the other, to suggest what had happened to
Underwater forensics expert Peter Faulding has since suggested that police may have missed “critical” evidence and criticised the Lancashire force for not closing off the area where Nicola disappeared, saying they were too quick to dismiss the possibility there were suspicious circumstances involved in her disappearance.
Faulding told MailOnline: “It should have been sealed off immediately as a potential crime scene.
“That area is critical. Critical forensics could have been found in that location.”
He said said “loads” of people would have now trampled through the area, contaminating the scene, and added: “I don’t know how the police can say there’s no evidence of third-party involvement in this disappearance when they haven’t actually checked.
“I think this is a mess, really.”
Faulding also said the equipment police are using to search for Nicola’s is low-tech and suggested it was “very unlikely they would be able to find a body with it.”
Cunningham and friend Emma White said there was “no evidence” behind a suggested theory that Nicola may have slipped into the river while retrieving her dog’s ball, which remains unaccounted for.
White said Nicola had stopped taking a ball on walls as her dog, a cocker spaniel named Willow, would fixate on it.
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