A diving expert who has joined the police search for mother-of-two Nicola Bulley has denied giving her now heartbroken family “false hopes”.
The 45-year-old went missing more than three weeks ago while walking her dog in the village of St Michael’s on Wyre on January 27 after taking her two daughters to school.
Lancashire Police confirmed a body was found on Sunday morning a mile from where it was last seen 23 days ago.
Peter Faulding, who volunteered to join the police search for three days, had previously insisted: “If Nicola had been in that river I would have found her. She’s not there.’
But he has now said it was “totally unfair” to claim he had given her family “false hopes,” the Sun reported.
“If I gave them false hope, then what about the daily police search teams there? I was there as a volunteer for three days,” he said.
“I think that would be completely unfair to be honest and I would throw the hook and give up the search.”
Mr Faulding added: “Police search teams walked this river every day. Up and down, up and down.
“When we searched that part, it wasn’t at the bottom of the river, but we were only there for a day.
“We’re going under in a boat that’s towing the sonar. We’re not looking in the reeds.’
Police were called to reports of a body in the River Wyre near Rawcliffe Road, with officers sealing off the area.
A helicopter circled over an undergrowth in St Michael’s on Wyre.
The body was found on a stretch of river, just around a slight bend about a mile outside of the village, near where a tree had fallen on its side, half in and half out of the water, saping branches and undergrowth were partially submerged.
A statement from the force said: “An underwater search team and special officers subsequently visited the scene, entered the water and unfortunately recovered a body.
“No formal identification has yet been carried out, so we cannot say at this time if this is Nicola Bulley.
“Procedures to identify the body are ongoing. We are currently treating the death as unexplained.’
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/02/20/lancashire-diving-expert-denies-giving-nicola-bulleys-family-false-hope-18311724/ Lancashire: Diving expert denies giving 'false hopes' to Nicola Bulley's family