Police have confirmed that the body found in the river is that of missing mum Nicola Bulley.
Bulley, 45, had been missing since January 27.
The mortgage adviser from Lancashire, England, vanished while walking her dog after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, off at school.
Her dog was found shortly after, along with her phone – still connected to a work conference call – on a bench by a steep riverbank.
On February 19, a body was found in the River Wyre – where she is believed to have been walking her dog – after a tipoff by members of the public.
Watch as a body is found in the river during the search for missing Nicola Bulley…
Lancashire Police initially said no formal identification had yet been carried out on the body, but that Bulley’s family had been informed.
However, the force has now confirmed that the body they recovered is Bulley’s.
A spokesperson for Lancashire Police says: “Sadly, we are now able to confirm that yesterday we recovered Nicola Bulley from the River Wyre.
“Nicola’s family have been informed and are of course devastated. Our thoughts are with them at this time as well as with all her loved ones and the wider community.
“We recognise the huge impact that Nicola’s disappearance has had on her family and friends, but also on the people of St Michael’s.
“We would like to thank all of those who have helped during what has been a hugely complex and highly emotional investigation.
“Today’s development is not the outcome any of us would have wanted, but we hope that it can at least start to provide some answers for Nicola’s loved ones, who remain foremost in our thoughts.
“The case is now being handled by HM Coroner.”
A statement from Nicola’s family reads: “Our Family Liaison officers have had to confirm our worst fears today.
“We will never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments and that will never leave us.
“We will never forget Nikki, how could we, she was the centre of our world, she was the one who made our lives so special and nothing will cast a shadow over that.
“Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most.”
They add: “Finally, Nikki, you are no longer a missing person, you have been found, we can let you rest now.
“We love you, always have and always will, we’ll take it from here.”
“We will never be able to comprehend what Nicky had gone through in her last moments”
Family of Nicola Bulley release a statement following discovery of her body in River Wyrehttps://t.co/Nk9r1G6EAg pic.twitter.com/2IBb3QKxYg
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) February 20, 2023
Police previously said they believed that Nicola had gone into the river and that her disappearance was not suspicious.
The body was found about a mile from where she was last seen in the small village of St Michael’s on Wyre.
It is believed two people walking their dogs by the river spotted the body and alerted the police.
The police said it received a call at 11.36am on February 19 about a body in the River Wyre, within a mile of where Bulley was last seen.
Watch our video of the day below…
Do you have a story for us? If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All contact will be treated in confidence.