Body found in river close to where Nicola Bulley went missing

Locals noted a large police presence around the River Wyre near to St Michaels on Sunday morning.

Body found in River Wyre close to where Nicola Bulley went missing Lancashire Police

A body has been found in the River Wyre close to where Nicola Bulley went missing, police have said.

Locals noted a large police presence around the river near to St Michaels on Sunday morning.

Officers confirmed that at around 11.36am on Sunday, they were called to reports of a body spotted in the river, close to Rawcliffe Road.

An underwater search team and specialist officers subsequently entered the water and recovered a body.

While no formal identification has taken place, Lancashire Police said that Ms Bulley’s family has been informed.

Ms Bulley's family have been informed. Lancashire Constabulary

The death is currently being treated as “unexplained”.

Ms Bulley, 47, was last seen on January 27 while taking a walk on her usual route with springer spaniel Willow, alongside the River Wyre.

Her phone, still connected to a work call for her job as a mortgage adviser, was found just over 20 minutes later on a bench overlooking the riverbank, with her dog running loose.

Since she vanished, huge public and media interest has resulted in what police described as “false information, accusations and rumours” and an “unprecedented” search of both the River Wyre, downstream to Morecambe Bay and miles of neighbouring farmland.

The investigation into her disappearance has also attracted widespread speculation, as well as criticism of the police response.

The force came under fire after making Ms Bulley’s struggles with alcohol and peri-menopause public three weeks after she vanished.

In a press conference on Wednesday, they revealed the mother-of-two was classed as a “high-risk” missing person immediately after her partner Paul Ansell reported her disappearance, “based on a number of specific vulnerabilities”.

They later added in a statement that Ms Bulley, from Inskip in Lancashire, had stopped taking her HRT medication.

A public backlash and interventions from both the Government and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper followed, with Lancashire Police confirming a date had been set for an internal review into the investigation.

A police spokeswoman said: “A review of the investigation is diarised and will be conducted by our head of crime detective Chief Superintendent Pauline Stables.”