Issue with missing Nicola Bulleys dog may have led to tragedy at rivers edge

Police searching for missing mum-of-two Nicola Bulley have said something "could have happened" with the dog she was walking which caused her disappearance.

The 45-year-old had dropped her kids off at school last Friday morning before taking the family pup, Willow, on a walk.

Ms Bulley, whose phone was found at the scene of her disappearance and logged into a work conference, is now believed to have approached the river, with police hypothesising the mum may have been dealing with the dog.

READ MORE: Police reveal main theory in missing mum Nicola Bulley's disappearance

It comes in a statement from Superintendent Sally Riley, who confirmed that "anything could have happened" with the dog "off the lead", The Mirror reported.

Superintendent Riley, who said police are "as sure as can be" that the mum-of-two did not leave the area, said that the 45-year-old "may have fallen in" the river while walking the dog.

She said: "The dog was off the lead, this was normal for the dog to run about and Nicola was on a teams call, which again it would be normal for her not to participate in actively and just have the phone to listen in, effectively.

"She puts the phone down momentarily and Nicola may have fallen in. That is a possibility."

The superintendent noted that "anything could have happened", and that there "may have been an issue with the dog that led her to go near to the water's edge".

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Superintendent Riley continued: "We don’t believe the dog was in the river because the dog, we believe, was dry and the witnesses have not described the dog swimming or jumping into the river.

"We don’t know why Nicola may have entered the water if she did."

The dog, Willow, was found dry by other walkers after the disappearance of Ms Bulley.

Superintendent Riley has confirmed that after a "thorough" search of the immediate stretch of water at the scene of Ms Bulley's disappearance, no conclusive evidence had been found.

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