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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ryan Merrifield

Nicola Bulley texted her friend a significant message minutes before going missing

A friend of missing mum Nicola Bulley has told the Mirror what she said in a text message believed to have been sent minutes before she vanished.

The mortgage broker, 45, disappeared on a dog walk last Friday morning after dropping her two daughters off at school in St Michaels on Wyre, Lancashire.

During the seventh day of searching, police have today cordoned off part of the route as divers scour the water.

It is feared she fell into the river and was dragged downstream - though no conclusive evidence has been released.

Nicola Bulley went missing on a dog walk last Friday (strava)
Nicola's springer spaniel Willow (Dave Nelson)

She had taken springer spaniel Willow along a nearby towpath next to the River Wyre from around 8.45am - and is understood to have signed into a work conference call close to 9am.

The dog was later found wandering alone "bone dry" and agitated on the trail with her harness on the floor, while Nicola’s phone had been left on a bench overlooking the water, still logged into the call.

Minutes before the meeting, during which she had switched off her camera and microphone, it is understood she texted a friend about meeting up sometime this week with her kids.

A pal who lives in the village - who did not wish to be named - said: “She booked a playdate, 8.57, she sent a text message to a friend whose mortgage she had just recently signed off on to arrange for the girls to go for tea this week.”

Police search teams continue looking along the murky waters of the River Wyre (James Maloney/Lancs Live)

The friend said this indicates she had no intention of voluntarily disappearing.

“You wouldn’t have done that if you were going to get up and go missing,” she added.

She said the information was revealed during a meeting at the village hall on Sunday morning at around 10.30am before residents headed out on their first mass organised search.

Nicola's partner Paul is understood to have been at the meeting.

A missing person poster and police cordon on the trail (James Maloney/Lancs Live)

As previously reported, police advised the group to search upriver in a pincer movement.

In the afternoon, a second search of locals set out, with around 100 participants, which included the headteacher from the primary school.

Two fellow dog walkers are said to have seen her soon before her disappearance and she was "laughing and joking" with them.

It comes after Nicola's mum Dot told the Mirror yesterday she had also been making plans for a spa break with her sister Louise.

Dot, 72, said: "Louise had just booked Ribby Hall because they both had spa vouchers, she had just sent Nicola the night before the treatments.

Nicola's last journey before vanishing (Lancashire Police)

"Louise booked it on Friday morning and sent it to Nicola but she never got back to her. They are very close."

Dad Ernest added Nicola was happy with her job and had a meeting with an important client before she went missing.

"Her mind was great, we picked the children up the Thursday before she went missing, as we do every Thursday.

"We took them home, Nicola had had a meeting with her boss in Garstang and she said can you stay a bit later because I have an important client coming in on Zoom.

"We said no problem and stayed. She had done her work and she was very upbeat about getting her mortgage sorted.

"I said we better go now and Nicola came to the front door, and I gave her a kiss and told her I loved her and that was the last conversation I had with her."

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