Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Lydia Patrick

Police searching for Gaynor Lord reach out to Nicola Bulley force over hunt for missing mother

PA Media

The police hunting for a missing mother have reached out to the force involved in the hunt for Nicola Bulley.

Lancashire Police has confirmed colleagues in Norfolk have been in contact as they try and find Gaynor Lord, who vanished in similar circumstances. Ms Lord, 55, was last seen on Friday afternoon after she left work early from Norwich city centre.

Her belongings, including clothing, two rings, a mobile phone and glasses, were found scattered in Wensum Park – around 1.5 miles from her workplace. Her coat was discovered in the River Wensum, which runs through the park.

Screen grab from CCTV issued by Norfolk Police of missing mother-of-three Gaynor Lord leaving work at the Bullards Gin counter in the basement at Jarrold department store in Norwich, Norfolk
— (PA)

The force is attempting to learn lessons from Lancashire Constabulary, which handled the search for missing mother Ms Bulley, who disappeared after dropping her two daughters at school in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, earlier this year.

Ms Bulley’s body was found in the River Wyre on February 19, about a mile from where she vanished while walking her dog in St Michael’s on Wyre on January 27. The force was criticised over its handling of the investigation and the disclosure of Ms Bulley’s personal information.

An inquest concluded Ms Bulley’s death was accidental, that she fell into the river on the day she disappeared and died almost immediately in the cold water.

Police Superintendant Dave Buckley from Norfolk Police confirmed in a press briefing on Thursday that they had contacted Lancashire Police to ask for anything they can learn from the case.

Nicola Bulley went missing in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, on January 27
— (PA Media)

Superintendent Buckley said: “They are helping us. When that case was concluded, the College of Policing along with the National Crime Agency did an awful lot of work to then look at what can be learned, what can be applied. It may be in terms of search tactics, it may be in terms of how the police interact and ask the public for help.”

Norwich policing commander Superintendent Wes Hornigold told LBC on Wednesday: “We will absolutely – and have done – be linking in with Lancashire Constabulary to understand any of the lessons learned from that inquiry.

“We’ve already had meetings with the National Crime Agency in terms of understanding any specific skills and knowledge in respect to water searching.

Police search teams continue to hunt for clues in the disappearance of missing woman Gaynor Lord on December 14, 2023 in Norwich, England. Gaynor Lord, 55
— (Getty Images)

“We’re cognisant of the recent College of Policing report into the Lancashire inquiry, so we’re leaving no stone unturned and making sure we’re doing everything within our power to find Gaynor as quickly as possible.”

On Thursday, a Lancashire Police spokesperson told The Independent: “We have been contacted by our colleagues at Norfolk Constabulary in relation to their ongoing search for missing woman Gaynor Lord.

“While we have not been asked for any officers or search resources, we will provide any support or advice as requested.”

Norfolk police continue to follow the working hypothesis Ms Lord is in the River Wensum, but are keeping an open mind to other lines of enquiry.

Divers search Norwich river in hunt for missing mother
— (PA)

Specialist divers are working in an “extraordinarily challenging environment” and it will take “a couple of days” or longer to complete the search of the stretch of the River Wensum where Gaynor Lord is thought to have entered the water, police said.

Chief Superintendent Buckley added: “We’re putting sonar equipment across the river, which is quite detailed in allowing us to try and target divers to where we think there might be objects.

“But equally, it’s very, very challenging. The river is very, very full of water with all the rain, full of lots of debris. The divers can see about one foot in front of them.

“So it’s an extraordinarily challenging environment for them to work in so it’s slow, methodical at the moment, working with equipment and it will take probably a couple of days to get to a position where we’re kind of content with what we’ve done. It may even be longer.”

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.