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The forensic search expert who leads the specialist team searching the River Wyre for missing mum-of-two Nicola Bulley, says he has asked her partner if he knows anyone who might have done her harm.
Peter Faulding, founder of Specialist Group International, offered his services to Lancashire Police in helping find the missing mum.
Revealing a conversation with Nicola's partner Paul Ansell, he asked if she had any "enemies" or "stalkers".
READ MORE: Nicola Bulley cops admit 'possibility' mum 'could have left river with someone'
“I spoke to Paul last night,” he said, “and asked him if she had any enemies, any stalkers, the normal questions you would ask. And nothing, he said no. And she was totally normal that day when she left, nothing out the ordinary”.
Despite the official Lancashire Police theory that Nicola almost certainly fell into the river by accident, and that no criminal activity is suspected, Peter has been outspoken in voicing his suspicions that something doesn’t add up.
Peter said: "Normally when we deal with drowning victims they go to the bottom and they will stay there for a while. The police divers have done a thorough search of that river twice and nothing was found.
"This is one of the most odd cases I've ever worked on. Underwater search… I'm a forensic diver as well… is a particularly difficult task. Generally, things aren't missed, they [police divers] have done it thoroughly. If anything is there, we will find it.
"A body will move after a time, but they searched that area and came up with nothing – that is what is weird here. We are baffled."
Nicola Bulley’s partner in desperate plea as 'two little girls miss their mummy'
Peter told TalkTV that he was "baffled" by the case after 25 years of doing his job.
He said that police had already searched the immediate area of the bench on two occasions, and that his team was there again today.
Peter said police divers have already thoroughly searched that stretch of the river and it’s unlikely that they would have missed anything.
However, specialist sonar equipment used by his team could help to "completely rule out anything".
'My friend vanished near a river like Nicola Bulley – her body washed up 3 months later'
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, he said: "I personally think, if I rule this stretch of river out today where we are working, I don't think she is here and there is probably a third party involved."
During a further interview on BBC Breakfast, Peter again suggested that Nicola's phone could have been deliberately left on the bench as a decoy to confuse police.
Peter believes it would be very unusual for someone to leave their phone behind and simply walk away, even a short distance.
BBC viewers fume at TV host's 'irresponsible' questioning of Nicola Bulley search expert
He said: "If Nicola is not in that stretch of river today my view is that there is a third party involved and this was a decoy placed by the river. It could have been placed as a decoy… there is not enough CCTV to cover particular areas here.
The police are working hard in the background to cover everything."
Peter also thinks the behaviour of Nicola’s dog, Willow, goes against the theory that she fell into the river: "We dealt with a drowning a couple of years ago where a gentleman went into a river and Ripley, his dog, was screaming by the riverbank when we got there..
"When we arrived it was howling, and literally pointing exactly where he was. He stayed with his owner."
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- Missing Person
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