Nicola Bulley: Friends, police condemn 'vile' online speculation over what happened to missing UK woman

  • 06/02/2023
Nicola Buley went missing in the UK nearly two weeks ago while walking her dog.
Nicola Buley went missing in the UK nearly two weeks ago while walking her dog. Photo credit: Supplied Lancashire Police.

Police in the UK, as well as friends of missing woman Nicloa Bulley, have condemned online speculation over what happened to her. 

Bulley went missing while walking her dog along the River Wyre in Lancashire on January 27. 

CCTV footage shows her leaving her home to drop her two daughters at school before taking her dog for a walk. 

She dialled into a TEAMS meeting while on her walk and her phone and dog lead were found on a bench. Her dog was found nearby, but there was no sign of the mother. 

Police believe she fell into the river and divers have been searching the waters while, volunteers have helped scour the footpaths. 

The operation has become front-page news in the UK as friends and family wait to find out what has happened to the popular mortgage broker. 

There has been a lot of speculation online over what happened, including comments on the state of the family's finances and her relationship with her husband Paul. 

This led police to issue a statement asking for the abuse to stop.  

"The speculation and abuse on social media aimed at some people who are merely assisting our enquiry is totally unacceptable," police said in a statement. 

"We would urge people to remember that we are investigating the disappearance of Nicola, and the priority is Nicola and her family. We want to find her and provide answers to her family."

Tilly Ann, a friend of Bulley, wrote a lengthy post on Facebook asking for the "inappropriate" speculation to end. 

"I want to start this post by thanking those who have shared and shared posts and who have been out looking and have created such a comfort to Nikki's family. Absolutely incredible," Tilly Ann posted. 

"However, I can't sit back anymore and not act with regards the hurt and distress that is being caused by some very inappropriate comments."

She then outlined a number of points addressing the inaccurate comments online, including why Tulley's husband Paul was not a suspect. 

She also criticised certain media outlets. 

"On a personal note, I have been shocked and appalled by the media's lies, misleading headlines, live streams of searches and reporting things completely out of context. 

"Please be careful with what you read. Just because it's in the media doesn't mean it's true!!!!

"What her family need right now is as much positivity as possible please."

Another friend Heather Gibson told the BBC the "vile" theories about the family were hurtful. 

"I mean it's human nature - everyone's going to have their thoughts, their theories, everyone will be speculating," Gibson told the BBC.

"But to see some of the vile speculation online - some of the theories that are incredibly, incredibly hurtful - I don't think people are realising that the family are sitting at home and are able to access and see all of that."

Police said they had scoured CCTV and were confident Bulley hadn't left the area where she was walking.