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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Fionnula Hainey

Nicola Bulley inquest opening hears she was identified by dental records after body pulled from river

The body of Nicola Bulley, which was pulled from the River Wyre on Sunday, was identified by her dental records.

An inquest into the death of the dog walker, from Inskip, who went missing in the village of St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, on January 27 sparking a widespread police search, was opened at Preston Coroner’s Court this afternoon (Wednesday, February 22).

Her body was pulled from the water around a mile from where Nicola was last seen on Sunday morning after police received reports that a body had been spotted in reeds by a dog walker. It was confirmed by police to be that of the 45-year-old around 24 hours later.

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Maxillofacial surgeon Andrew Ian Edwards examined the mum-of-two’s dental records, which had been obtained by police from her dental surgery, to provide a positive ID, the five-minute hearing heard.

Speaking at the opening of the inquest, senior coroner Dr James Adeley said: “He examined the body that was located in the River Wyre near Rawcliffe Road in St Michael’s on Wyre at 2.15pm on February 20.” He said the surgeon found restorative work carried out was identical.

He added: “I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities, and more, that positive identification has been made.”

Dr Adeley told the hearing that the family had been informed of the date, time and place of the opening of the inquest but "have chosen not to attend for reasons I can quite understand".


He said remaining evidence gathered by police and the post-mortem examination required “further evaluation” and a full inquest was likely to be held in June, once availability of a Home Office pathologist had been checked. He added: “This will allow time to collate the facts of the case and allow the experts involved to finalise the findings from investigations that still need to be undertaken."

Police have not yet addressed why it took 23 days to find her body in the river.

In a press conference on Monday, Lancashire Police described the investigation into her disappearance as “hugely complex and highly emotional”. During the search, the force came under fire for releasing some aspects of Nicola’s private life into the public domain.

Nicola’s family said in a statement on Monday that they can let her “rest now”. The statement said: “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."

It added: “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."


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