Nicola Bulley: Family face fresh anguish as drowned mum’s pictures used to set up fake online dating profiles
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The family of tragic dogwalker Nicola Bulley are facing fresh anguish after images of her were reportedly posted on fake online dating profiles. Ms Bulley accidentally drowed in the River Wyre in Lancashire on January 27.
The mother-of-two’s body was found 23 days after her disappearance, which sparked a huge search by police, specialist underwater diving teams and members of the public. An inquest in June concluded Ms Bulley fell into the water while walking her dog before suffering “cold water shock”.
Professor Mike Tipton told the inquest at Preston Coroner’s Court Ms Bulley would have lost consciousness almost instantly as a result of the 4C temperature of the river. The diving expert said: “In my opinion, given the nature of the likely entry into the water, I would suspect Nikki had a gasp response under the water, initiating the drowing process.”
Last month Nicola’s devastated family hit out at social media trolls for continuing to spread conspiracy theories about her death, five months on. A source told Sunday People they had now been made aware Ms Bulley’s images had appeared on British dating site Smooch.com, adding: “They’ve already been through the most horrendous ideal.”
The Mirror said it raised the alarm over the scam photos, which had been taken from a police appeal. One profile using Nicola’s face purported to have been set up by a woman called Faustina, 46, while another claimed she was a 41-year-old woman called Elorm.
It is understood that the accounts have since been taken down and that Ms Bulley’s family’s lawyers have been informed.
At the time Ms Bulley’s body was found, her family released a statement in which they said their worst fears had been confirmed. They added: “We will never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments and that will never leave us.
“We will never forget Nikki, how could we, she was the centre of our world, she was the one who made our lives so special and nothing will cast a shadow over that. Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most.
“Our hearts truly break for others who have missing loved ones. Keep that hope alive.”