What happened to Nicola Bulley?

Nicola Bulley, a 45-year-old mortgage adviser and mother of two, lived in St. Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire. Ms. Bulley’s partner, Paul Ansell, described her as “fun,” “loving,” “the most devoted friend you could ever have,” and an “exceptional mother.”

Nadia Fell, 39, a friend of Nicola, described Ms. Bulley as “the most amazing mother ever,” adding, “Anything that needed to be done for the school – PTA stuff – she was always there for it.”

In the final stages of the search, police revealed that Ms. Bulley had been struggling with alcohol and perimenopausal symptoms before her disappearance.

A new documentary looks back on the police investigation into the disappearance of Nicola Bulley last year. We explain what we know about the mortgage advisor’s final moments before tragedy struck.

What happened to Nicola Bulley?
Nicola Bulley’s death inquest

Cold Water Shock

Dr. Patrick Morgan, a cold water expert, explained that falling into cold water causes an “excessively high” heart rate as blood pressure rises.

The court was told that when Nicola vanished, the water was only 4 degrees Celsius, which is cold enough to cause cold water shock and muscles to seize up.

What happened to Nicola Bulley?

Ms. Bulley was last seen near the river at around 9.20 a.m. on Friday, January 27, after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, at the school in the village.

Willow, her springer spaniel, was with her as she walked along the River Wyre.

Around this time, she sent an email and joined a work call that ended 30 minutes later, but she remained on the call. Her mobile phone and dog were later found on a bench by another dog-walker.

A major search for Ms. Bulley saw specialist diving teams scan the river, with police heading out to Morecambe Bay to investigate the possibility her body had been swept out to sea.

Her body was discovered 23 days after her disappearance, on February 19, in a patch of undergrowth and branches near a river bend, about a mile from the bench where her phone and dog were discovered.

Nicola Bulley
Nicola Bulley

Her family stated, “We will never be able to comprehend what Nikki went through in her final moments, and this will never leave us.”

We will never forget Nikki; she was the center of our world, the person who made our lives so special, and nothing will ever change that.

What did the inquest conclude?

Dr. James Adeley, Lancashire’s senior coroner, concluded at an inquest at County Hall in Preston that Ms.

Bulley drowned after falling into cold water by accident. He reported her death as accidental because she fell into the river and suffered “cold water shock,” and there was “no evidence” to suggest suicide.

Concluding the much-publicized case, he stated: “Except for a couple of comments over the Christmas period when she was acting out of character and were treated as throw-away comments, there was no indication of committing suicide.”

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