Nicola Bulley Missing Person Case
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The Nicola Bulley Missing Person Case refers to the disappearance of 45-year-old U.K. resident Nicola Bulley, who went for a walk with her dog along the River Wyre on January 27th, 2023, and went missing. Police hypothesized that she fell into the river and drowned, however, her body could not be found after initial searches. Bulley remained missing into mid-February as more details about herself and the case went public, including that she was reportedly a "high-risk missing person" and suffered from issues related to alcohol and menopause. The release of this information was criticized online, with some claiming its release was sexist. Based on the evidence, police do not believe criminal interference was involved in the case. The case gained notable online interest as details emerged, inspiring internet sleuths to speculate about her disappearance and try to solve the case, with some believing that Bulley's friend Emma White, who was interviewed several times about the case, allegedly knew more than she was letting on.
On January 27th, 2023, 45-year-old mother of two Nicola Bulley, a Lancashire, U.K. resident who lives near the village of St. Michael's on Wyre, dropped her two daughters off at school at roughly 08:40 a.m. GMT and took her dog Willow, a brown springer spaniel, for a walk along the River Wyre.
While on the walk, she sent a text to a friend to set up a playdate for her daughter, sent an email to her employer and joined a Microsoft Teams call with her camera and microphone reportedly disabled. At around 09:10 a.m. she was seen walking Willow without a leash.
At around 9:33 a.m., Bulley's phone was found on a bench, still connected to the Microsoft Teams call, which had been ended by the host. Willow was found wandering alone near the bench, her harness on the ground between the river and the bench. The person who found Willow called their daughter-in-law, who contacted Paul, Nicola's partner. Sky News published an interview on YouTube with the man who reportedly found her phone later in February (shown below).
On February 3rd, 2023, The Guardian reported that the police believe Bulley fell into the river. They began searching the river for her body.
That day, Mirror reported that a woman in a red coat caught on CCTV cameras around the time Bulley went missing was questioned by police and told them she didn't see Bulley. On February 4th, Sky News then posted an interview to YouTube with a friend of Bulley, Emma White, who had been searching for Bulley, claimed there was "no evidence" that she fell into the river, suggesting another reason for her disappearance (shown below).
On February 5th, 2023, The Guardian reported that a woman in a yellow coat with a stroller, who was also seen on CCTV cameras near where Bulley went missing, came forward for questioning as a witness. On February 6th, Lancashire Police then put out an update claiming they searched the river "all the way to the sea" using methods including dogs, helicopters, drones, sonars and teams of people but so far found nothing. The report also claims investigators checked the data on her Fitbit.
On February 8th, The Guardian reported that the underwater search team pulled out of searching for Bulley after finding "no sign of Nicola in that area" after extensive searching. On February 10th, YouTuber Nicola Bulley Case then posted a longer interview with Emma White, Bulley's friend (shown below). On February 11th, the BBC reported that Bulley's partner Paul said he is "100% convinced" Bulley is not in the river. iTV previously reported that Bulley's sister also doubted claims that she fell into the river.
Press Conference, Specific Vulnerabilities, Alcohol and Menopause
On February 15th, 2023, the BBC reported on a press conference (shown below) about the case in which police claimed there was no evidence of a third party involved in Bulley going missing. During the conference, the police specifically discourage TikTokers from "playing detective" and notably mention that Bulley is considered a "high-risk" missing person because she has "specific vulnerabilities." The high-risk categorization reportedly allowed for more resources to be used in her search. Later that day, the BBC published an article elaborating on those vulnerabilities, claiming Bulley had alcohol issues in the past related to her menopause. The report of her menopause was seen as unnecessary and sexist by some.
On February 17th, the Independent reported that Bulley had brain fog before she went missing linked to "peri menopause."
Internet Sleuthing, Emma White
As the investigation into Bulley's disappearance went on, internet users, specifically on TikTok, began speculating about the case and the details surrounding it. Some TikTokers posted videos trying to determine whether or not someone kidnapped Bulley, despite the police finding no evidence that a third party was involved. On February 13th, TikToker @soundsandvibez posted a video of the interview with Bulley's friend Emma White deeming it suspicious and insinuating that she doesn't seem distressed, garnering over 2 million views in four days (shown below, left). On February 14th, TikToker @wilson_huw posted another video claiming White is the daughter-in-law of BBC presenter Stuart White, calling it a "very interesting connection," garnering over 593,000 views in three days (shown below, right).
@soundsandvibez ♬ Horror, suspense, weirdness, ghost, UFO – Zassh
@wilson_huw #nicolabulley #nicolabulleymissing ♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose
People continued to speculate that Emma White purportedly knew something more about the disappearance across social media. On February 16th, YouTuber Superchuffer posted a three-hour-plus video examining her body language across several interviews, garnering over 5,000 views in a day (shown below).
 Telegraph – A minute-by-minute look at the crucial 24 hours when Nicola Bulley vanished
 Sky News – Nearly three weeks since dog walker vanished – what were her last movements before she disappeared
 Lancs Live – Business owner raised alarm over missing mum
 The Guardian – police think missing dog walker fell into rive
 Mirror – Mystery woman in red coat tells police she didn't see her
 The Guardian – witness comes forward
 Lancashire Police – Missing Nicola Bulley – latest update
 The Guardian – Underwater team pull out of Nicola Bulley search after no body found
 BBC – Nicola Bulley's partner '100% convinced' her body's not in the river
 iTV – Sister of missing Nicola Bulley questions police suggestion that missing mother fell into the river
 BBC – Nicola Bulley had specific vulnerabilities, say police
 BBC – Missing mother had alcohol issues, police say
 Toronto Sun – Brit cops blasted for 'sexist' menopause info
 TikTok – @soundsandvibez
 TikTok – @wilson_huw
 YouTube – Emma White. Body Language Analysis
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