Nicola Bulley: Inquest into mysterious and tragic death of missing dogwalker begins at Preston County Hall
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The inquest into the death of Nicola Bulley began today (June 26) - six months after the 45-year-old was reported missing. Ms Bulley vanished on January 27 after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, at school before setting off on her usual dog walk along the River Wyre in the village of St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire.
The mortgage adviser’s disappearance sparked huge public interest due to mysterious details in the case, such as the fact her phone was found on a bench overlooking the water still connected to a work Teams call while her dog was running loose nearby. Dozens of content creators quickly descending on the scene and countless conspiratorial videos surfaced on social media.
Ms Bulley, who was originally from Essex but living in Inskip with her family, was immediately deemed a “high risk” missing person. Private underwater specialists were called in by her family, scouring the river and taking the search all the way out to sea.
Her body was found 23 days after she disappeared on February 19 in a patch of undergrowth, around one mile from the bench where her phone and dog were found. A statement released by the family read: “We will never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments and that will never leave us.”
The inquest began at Preston County Hall this morning and is expected to last two days. It is understood Ms Bulley’s family are in attendance today, including her husband Paul Ansell.
Mr Ansell along with Ms Bulley’s sister, Louise Cunningham, are set to give evidence tomorrow (June 27) as they are both listed as witnesses.
The inquest is being overseen by Dr James Adeley who is the senior coroner for the Lancashire area. According to the Lancashire Evening Post, he confirmed extra security measures are in place at the inquest and took the unusual step of warning anyone who disrupts the inquest that they may be in contempt of court.
Giving evidence Dr Alison Armour, the Home Office pathologist, said the cause of death based on her evidence is drowning. “[Nicola] was alive when she entered the water,” she told the hearing.
The inquest continues.