Nicola Bulley's sister Louise Cunningham pays somber tribute to mom-of-two after body is identified
LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND: Nicola Bulley's sister shared a poignant tribute after authorities confirmed the body found in the River Wyre was indeed the missing mother-of-two. 41-year-old Louise Cunningham, who has spearheaded the 'Bring Nikki Back Home' social media campaign, posted a yellow heart on Facebook in her sibling's honor.
Nicola's friends and her former school in Essex also chimed in with tributes as they urged supporters to "spread the love for Nikki." The 45-year-old's body was found in the reeds of River Wyre on Sunday, February 19, after she was last seen on January 27 while walking her dog in St Michael's after dropping her daughters to school.
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'Our hearts are broken'
As mentioned, Nicola's sister Louise posted a somber tribute on Facebook.
Nicola's friends also shared their grief when police confirmed her death. "Team Nikki came together on the 27th of January in the efforts to raise awareness of the missing Nicola Bulley," her pal Emma White wrote, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "After 24 days of hope and efforts to bring Nikki home we sadly were brought the news that none of us wanted, Nikki had been found sadly in the river. Our hearts are broken, we continue to support the family. We take a moment to thank every single one of you for the support, the messages, and for making this group special in keeping things real." She added, "We will continue to spread the love for Nikki. We have a post for posting messages to family and friends."
Nicola's old secondary school shared its own tribute to their alumna, who reportedly moved to Lancashire from Essex with her parents and sister in the late 1990s. "It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of former William de Ferrers student, Nicola Bulley," a spokesperson for William de Ferrers School in South Woodham, Essex, said in a statement. "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Nicola's family and friends, many of whom are within our own South Woodham Ferrers community. We would like to respect the family's privacy at this most difficult time."
Nicola Bulley's old school, William de Ferrers School in Essex, has posted a tribute to her, offering its thoughts and deepest sympathies to her family and friends.https://t.co/xIXllUx33u pic.twitter.com/7aENPjsfyR— BBC Essex (@BBCEssex) February 21, 2023
Body recovered and identified
In a press conference on Monday, February 20, Lancashire Police confirmed that the woman found in the Wyre was Nicola Bulley. The authorities, however, did not address the criticism they received for bringing some aspects of Nicola's personal life into the public domain. They also did not explain why it took 23 days to find her body in the river. She was reportedly found on a stretch of the river just past a slight bend about a mile outside the village, nearby a tree that had fallen on its side and was partially submerged in the water. Reports suggest a man and a woman discovered the corpse and alerted the police, who responded to the River Wyre close to Rawcliffe Road at around 11.35 am on Sunday, February 19. Authorities erected a tent and cordoned off the area while police divers arrived at the scene. The road was reopened around three hours later after the body was recovered.
That said, TikTok promised to take action against social media sleuths who disrupted search efforts by posting unfounded conspiracy theories about the mother-of-two online. Locals blasted amateur sleuths who descended on the small Lancashire village to probe the case themselves. The social media platform was inundated with videos speculating about her disappearance, including rumors and conspiracy theories. "Our thoughts are with Ms Bulley's family and friends at this difficult time," TikTok said in a statement. "We have mobilized resources to monitor the evolving conversation about this case. We are taking action against violations of our Community Guidelines, including removing content and accounts, and limiting the reach of some content by making it ineligible for recommendation," they added.