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Nicola Bulley’s family say they’ll ‘never comprehend’ final moments

Nicola Bulley: Police read family statement after body found

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Nicola Bulley’s family said they will “never comprehend” what her final moments were like as they react to the news of her body being found. In a statement read by Lancashire Police, the family gave a heartbreaking response to the loss of Nicola, who vanished three weeks ago while walking her spaniel Willow along the River Wyre.

A body was found yesterday afternoon among the reeds of the river, less than a mile from where the mum-of-two disappeared. Today police confirmed that the body was that of Ms Bulley.

In a statement read out by Lancashire Police, her family said: “Our Family Liaison officers have had to confirm our worst fears today. We will never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments and that will never leave us.”

The family have detailed in several interviews the severe toll the case – and the publicity surrounding it – has taken on them.

On Friday Ms Bulley’s father, Ernie, 73, told Sky News: “[We’re] no further on from three weeks ago. [We] just need a breakthrough to give us some hope.”

He added that “every day is a struggle” as they waited for news.

Meanwhile, on Thursday they issued a direct plea for her to come home, saying: “Your girls want a cuddle.”

The family went on to plea for the focus to remain on the search for Nicola, rather than speculation and public involvement that was increasingly dominating the case.

At the end of today’s statement in reaction to confirmation of her death, they said: “We will never forget Nikki, how could we, she was the centre of our world, she was the one who made our lives so special and nothing will cast a shadow over that. Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most.”

Ms Bulley vanished after dropping off her daughters at school on January 27 in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire.

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Her phone was found just over 20 minutes later on a bench overlooking the riverbank with her dog running loose. The mobile was still connected to a work call.

Senior officers said on Wednesday that Ms Bulley was “vulnerable” and had been classed by police as a “high-risk” missing person immediately after her partner, Paul Ansell, reported her disappearance.

After Lancashire Constabulary revealed Ms Bulley’s issues with alcohol “brought on by her ongoing struggles with the menopause”, the force was strongly condemned by MPs and campaign groups.

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