Trigger warning: this article contains sensitive content
The body of missing mother of two, Nicola Bulley, has been found, 24 days after she was reported missing.
The 45-year-old mortgage adviser disappeared from St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, while walking her dog along the River Wyre.
Her phone was found on a riverside bench, still connected to a Microsoft Teams call and her springer spaniel, Willow, was found unharmed close by, leaving a 10-minute window where Nicola went missing.
After a three week search, a body was found in the River Wyre on Sunday, with Lancashire Police now confirming that the body has been identified as that of Nicola Bulley.
"Sadly, we are now able to confirm that yesterday we recovered Nicola Bulley from the River Wyre," read a statement from Lancashire Police this evening. "Nicola's family have been informed and are of course devastated.
"Our thoughts are with them at this time, as well as with all their loved ones and the wider community. We recognise the huge impact that Nicola's disappearance has had on her family and friends, but also on the people of St Michael's.
"We would like to thank all of those who have helped during what has been a hugely complex and highly emotional investigation.
"Today's development is not the outcome that any of us would have wanted, but we hope that the police can begin to provide some answers for Nicola's loved ones - they remain foremost in our thoughts. The case is now being handled by His Majesty's Coroner."
"Our family liason officers have had to confirm our worst fears today," read a statement from Nicola Bulley's family. "We will never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments, and that will never leave us.
"We will never forget Nikki, how could we? She was the centre of our world. She was the one who made our lives so special and nothing will cast a shadow over that.
"Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most, and it saddens us to think that one day we will have to explain to them that the press and members of the public accused their dad of wrongdoing, misquoted and villified friends and family.
"This is absolutely appalling, they have to be held accountable. This cannot happen to another family."
We will continue to update this story.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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