New detail emerges in Nicola Bulley case as friend reveals she vanished with her Mercedes car keys | The Sun

MISSING mum Nicola Bulley vanished carrying her car keys, a close friend has revealed.

There had been speculation the 45-year-old left them in the ignition of her Mercedes before she disappeared on January 27, but her next door neighbour yesterday confirmed she had them on her – a detail she wants the public to know.

Charlotte Drake, who has lived adjacent to Nicola for five years, told Metro they were most likely in her coat pocket.

"They were definitely on Nikki at the time," she added.

Nicola's husband Paul Ansell described the keys as having two Mercedes keyrings – one black and one blue.

Also on the bunch is a round wooden key ring with paw prints and a couple of normal keys, he said.


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Speaking with Paul's permission, marketing director Charlotte said: "She would have put [them] in her coat pocket."

Nicola was last seen at around 9.15am on the footpath by the river in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, on January 27.

She disappeared while walking her dog Willow beside the River Wyre shortly after dropping her two daughters off at school.

Her phone, which was still connected to a work call, was found on a bench overlooking the water and her Springer Spaniel was discovered bone dry nearby.

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Detectives are still working on the theory she fell into the river in a "tragic accident".

But family and friends of the mum-of-two are convinced she isn't in the water.

Mum Charlotte, from nearby Inskip, said: "We’ve all said from 11am on day one when the police showed up… 'She’s not in that river'.

"My gut feeling remains the same. I honestly believe Nikki is not in the water."

Paul, who told Channel 5 that his family was going through "unprecedented hell", added: "Extensive searching, as you're probably aware, has gone on in that river and the underwater rescue teams have thankfully found absolutely nothing.

"Personally, I am 100 per cent convinced it's not the river, that's my opinion.

"You cannot walk your dog down a river and just vanish into thin air.

"Something happened that day, something."


Police insist they remain "open-minded" about what happened to Nicola and are carrying out "a huge number of enquiries".

This includes probing reports of two men trying to hide their faces near Nicola's dog-walking route the day before she went missing.

A local said the pair were carrying fishing rods and appeared to be wearing hats or hoods, adding: "It was very strange. It made me uneasy."

Cops are also trawling through CCTV from the area and trying to trace the owner of a shabby-looking red van spotted outside a barn on the morning Nicola vanished.

Tree surgeon Denis Rowlandson, 47, said of the vehicle: "I don’t know anybody with a red van who should be parked outside that barn or near the entrance

"There’s no reason to be there at all without my permission."

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Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting log 473 of January 27.

For immediate sightings, call 999.

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