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icola Bulley had alcohol issues and struggled with the menopause before her disappearance, police revealed on Wednesday.

The Lancashire Constabulary said the mother-of-two had “significant issues with alcohol which were brought on by her ongoing struggles with the menopause”.

Police added that these struggles “had resurfaced over recent months” and had caused “some real challenges” for Ms Bulley’s partner, Paul Ansell, and the family.

Earlier on Wednesday police had said Ms Bulley, 45, had “specific vulnerabilities” when she disappeared from St Michael’s on Wyre on the morning on January 27 while walking her dog, which made her a “high-risk” missing person.

Wanting to expand on the vulnerabilities, police said: “Sadly, it is clear from speaking to Paul and the family that Nicola had in the past suffered with some significant issues with alcohol which were brought on by her ongoing struggles with the menopause and that these struggles had resurfaced over recent months.

“This caused some real challenges for Paul and the family.”

Police said officers, along with health professionals, attended a report of concern for welfare at Ms Bulley’s home address on January 10. No arrests were made and the incident is still being investigated.

“It is an unusual step for us to take to go into this level of detail about someone’s private life, but we felt it was important to clarify what we meant when we talked about vulnerabilities to avoid any further speculation or misinterpretation,” police said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

“We have explained to Nicola’s family why we have released this further information and we would ask that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.”

Police said Ms Bulley’s family continues to be the “absolute focus” and “our thoughts remain with them”.

“We have specially trained officers who continue to support them and update them daily,” the statement added.

Nicola Bulley, 45, was last seen on January 27

/ PA Media

Lancashire Police said they are being “inundated with false information, accusations and rumours” about the case which is “distracting” them.

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith said: “We’re really grateful to members of the public for ringing in to the inquiry, we wouldn’t have got this far without everyone’s help.

“But it’s also really obvious that we are being inundated with false information, accusations and rumours which is distracting us from our work.”

She also said the speculation has been “affecting” Ms Bulley’s family.

Asked if she hoped to find Ms Bulley alive, Det Supt Smith said: “I hope with all my heart that we find Nicola Bulley alive more than anything”.

But she said all the evidence suggested that Ms Bulley went down to the river and did not return.

Nicola Bulley and her partner Paul Ansell have two daughters

/ Paul Ansell

Ms Bulley disappeared after dropping her two daughters – aged six and nine – at school on January 27.

She was last seen at 9.10am taking her usual route with her springer spaniel Willow, alongside the River Wyre.

Her phone, still connected to a work call for her job as a mortgage adviser, was found just over 20 minutes later on a bench overlooking the riverbank, with her dog running loose.

Nearly 40 detectives have sifted through hundreds of hours of CCTV, dashcam footage and tip-offs from the public.

Assistant Chief Constable Peter Lawson said: “There is no evidence to indicate a criminal aspect or third-party involvement in Nicola’s disappearance.”

Police said that while keeping an “open mind”, their “main working hypothesis” remains that Ms Bulley went into the river during a “10-minute window” between 9.10am and 9.20am that day.

Mr Ansell has previously said he is “100 percent convinced” she is not in the river.

Friends and family are desperate for more answers. They made a fresh appeal to drivers on Friday for any dash cam footage of the area the day the mortgage adviser went missing.

Around 30 stood on the roadside holding placards bearing her picture.

Meanwhile a man and woman were arrested on suspicion of sending abusive messages to local parish councillors over Ms Bulley’s disappearance.

The two arrests came after Inskip with Sowerby Parish received “vile” telephone calls over Nicola’s disappearance at the weekend.


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#Police #Nicola #Bulley #alcohol #issues #menopause #struggles #vanishing

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