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The partner of a woman who has been missing since Friday morning has issued a desperate plea in an attempt to find the mother of his children. Paul Ansell said he and the family are living in “perpetual hell” after girlfriend Nicola Bulley vanished on Friday while out walking her dog. The 45-year-old was last seen at around 9.15am after setting out with her brown spaniel, Willow, from her home in Inskip, Lancashire.
Police said on Monday they were keeping an “open mind” as to lines of inquiry, and believed Ms Bulley had gone missing rather than any crime being committed. It was also revealed that she had been dialled into a work conference at the time of her disappearance, with a passerby finding her phone.
Mr Ansell, speaking at the family home, said he had spent all day yesterday searching for her.
He told the Mirror: “It is just perpetual hell. It is just utter disbelief. We are living through this but it doesn’t feel real. All we can say is we need to find her. She’s got two little girls that need their mummy home. We have got to get some good news now.”
Mr Ansell said he or Ms Bulley, also known as Nikki, would regularly drop the children off, aged six and nine, at the local primary school, before taking their Springer spaniel for a walk along the river nearby.
But after dropping the children off at school on Friday morning he then got a call alerting him something was amiss.
Mr Ansell said: “I rang the police, I got a call from the school regarding somebody who had found Willow and Nikki’s phone and the dog lead and harness on the bench. We take the kids to school and take the dog down there, either myself or Nikki, nearly every day.”
Ms Bulley, a mortgage advisor, has lived in Lancashire for 25 years but is originally from near Chelmsford, Essex and still has a southern accent.
A member of the public saw her at around 9.15am on January 27, police said, and her family informed police she had gone missing. She was seen walking along a footpath to a river.
Lancashire Police said her phone was found on a bench with a work teams call still on the screen.
Willow was found loose from her lead and harness an hour later by a member of the public.
A member of the public who recognised Willow and raised the alarm with police at 10.30am. Superintendent Sally Riley told the Mirror that police found Nicola’s phone still ‘active’ on the bench and began searching for her immediately.
Supt Riley said: “It was on a meeting call, and that was still live it was connected to the conference call and that hadn’t been terminated.”
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Supt Riley confirmed that there was no evidence of a crime. She added: “There are no reports of anything like that but clearly all scenarios are tested and checked for but in the absence of anything to suggest there was anything criminal was there anything to suggest she was attacked, absolutely not.”
A massive search has been launched as specialist search officers were seen on Monday on a small boat trawling on the river. Nicola was last seen near Garstang Road in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, and police said the search would continue for her.
She is described as white, 5ft 3ins tall, with light brown shoulder-length hair. She speaks with an Essex accent. Nicola was last seen wearing a long black gilet jacket with a hood, black jeans, and olive green ankle wellies. Her hair was tied into a ponytail.
Anybody who has seen Nicola, or has information about where she might be, is asked to call 101, quoting log 473 of January 27th. For immediate sightings please call 999.
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