How a Nicola Bulley conspiracy theory 'explosion' sparked a nightmare for villagers of St Michael's on Wyre
Before January 2023, few people had heard of St Michael's on Wyre.
The small village is home to just 3,500 people, a pub, petrol station and village hall. It's one of a cluster of communities scattered around the River Wyre.
Then, earlier this year, it became the epicentre of one of the biggest news stories to hit Lancashire in living memory. When Nicola Bulley disappeared on the school run, it seemed unthinkable.
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From the outside, Nicola, 45, seemed to 'have it all'. A professional job as a self employed mortgage advisor, a comfortable home in the nearby village of Inskip, and a loving partner and children. She was attractive, successful and ordinary, reports Lancs Live.
Her morning, on January 27, was familiar to mums up and down the land. School run, dog walk, virtual meeting with colleagues. All part of the the pitter patter of daily life for many modern parents. She sent a final text to arrange a playdate for her children, but at 9:18am, Nicola's dog Willow was found running free in the field beside the River Wyre, her harness and Nicola's phone, still connected to her work call, left on a nearby bench.
Recognising the cocker spaniel, the walker took Willow to the village school, who promptly called Nicola's partner Paul Ansell. Paul was worried enough to call the police, who opened an immediate missing person's inquiry. Before long, the idyllic village was swarming with reporters, broadcast vans, armchair sleuths and TikTok detectives. Many well intentioned,