Parents of missing dog walker Nicola Bulley fear ‘somebody got her’

<span>Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The parents of the missing Lancashire woman Nicola Bulley have said they fear “somebody got her” as the dog walker’s disappearance enters a sixth day.

Bulley, a mortgage adviser and mother of two, went missing last Friday, with her mobile phone found on a bench near to where she was last seen on a towpath by the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire.

Speaking to the Mirror, the 45-year-old’s parents, Ernest, 73, and Dot, 72, said she had no health problems and was in good spirits enjoying her job.

Ernest said: “There was no sign of a slip or falling in so our thought was, ‘has somebody got her’? I asked the sergeant from Fleetwood a few days ago ‘is there any chance of her being taken’, and she said: ‘I don’t think that’s the case.’

“I said, ‘how can you know that?’. It’s such an isolated area, the only way that has happened is if it was someone who knew her.”

He added: “We just dread to think we will never see her again. If the worst came to the worst and she was never found, how will we deal with that for the rest of our lives?”

Dot said: “Our worst time is when it gets dark. We find it really hard to think about wondering ‘is she OK?’ and ‘where is she?’” She added: “You wake in the night and you can’t get back off to sleep.”

Meanwhile, the Lancashire Evening Post reported that police had searched an abandoned house opposite to the bench on which Bulley’s phone was found.

She had been walking her dog, a springer spaniel, Willow, which was found loose between the river and bench.

Police have said they are keeping an “open mind” about what happened, but do not believe Bulley was attacked.

A search of the area involving police specialist resources, the Coastguard and Bowland mountain rescue is continuing.

Bulley is described as white, 5ft 3in, with light brown, shoulder-length hair. At the time of her disappearance she was wearing a long, black gilet jacket with a hood, black jeans and olive-green ankle wellington boots.

Anyone who has seen her, or has information about where she might be, is asked to call 101, quoting log 565 of 30 January, or call 999 if they have an immediate sighting.