Police hunt driver of ‘tatty red van’ amid search for Nicola Bulley but continue to insist ‘nothing untoward’ happened to the missing mother who vanished two weeks ago
- Police say the investigation is based around belief Nicola Bulley fell into the river
- The ‘tatty’ red van may just be one of the many vehicles in the area, insist police
Police investigating the disappearance of Nicola Bulley have said that their efforts are based around the belief that the missing mum fell into the river, and that ‘nothing untoward’ has happened to her.
Police are looking to identify the owner of a ‘tatty red van’ being linked to the case, but insist that ‘there is nothing to suggest this was anything other than one of many hundreds of vehicles in the area that morning’.
In a statement issued after partner Paul Anstell went on TV to declare he does not believe the mum of two was in the river, Lancashire Police stressed their investigation so far had not showed any involvement of a third party.
Their statement directly contradicts Anstell who told Channel 5 news that he is ‘100 per cent’ certain she did not fall in the river.
The statement said: ‘Throughout this investigation we have been keeping an open mind about what might have happened to Nicola, and we continue to look at all the potential scenarios to eliminate them. We are reviewing our decisions regularly.
Police investigating the disappearance of Nicola Bulley have said that their efforts are based around the belief that the missing mum fell into the river
‘Based on all the work we have done up to now our belief remains that Nicola may have fallen into the river for some reason, but we are continuing to investigate all possible leads, and this involves viewing CCTV, Dashcam footage and speaking to people who are providing us with information.
‘It remains the case that at the present time there is absolutely nothing in all the extensive enquiries we have made that suggests anything untoward has happened or that there is any third-party involvement in Nicola’s disappearance, but the investigation is ongoing.
Referring to reports from two people who saw a suspicious red van in Hall Lane near to the riverbank where Ms Bulley’s phone and dog Willow were found, they said: ‘We are aware of reports in the media about a red van being reported to us and we would like to stress that while this has been reported to us and we are making efforts to identify the owner at this time there is nothing to suggest this was anything other than one of many hundreds of vehicles in the area that morning.
‘The inquiry team are working through hundreds of pieces of information and reports such as this in the media can distract them from genuine enquiries.
Partner Paul Anstell went on TV to declare he does not believe the mum of two was in the river,
‘Our priority throughout this investigation has been on finding Nicola and providing answers for her family. They continue to be supported and regularly updated by specially trained officers.’
Police also condemned so called experts who have been adding to the family’s anguish with vile comments and conspiracy theories.
‘Unfortunately, we continue to see groundless and hurtful abuse of innocent people, including witnesses and local businesses, which is totally unacceptable, said police.’
‘We also continue to see a huge amount of commentary from so-called experts, ill-informed speculation and conspiracy theories which is damaging to the investigation, the community of St Michael’s and, worst of all, to Nicola’s family. It must stop.’
The statement also said they had consulted with the National Crime Agency which is offering continual advice and support, along with a number of national experts.
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