Nicola Bulley: Where was a body found in search for missing mother?
Watch: Body found in search for missing mother Nicola Bulley
The partner of missing mother-of-two Nicola Bulley has told of his "agony" after a body was found in the river close to where she disappeared.
The body, which has not yet been formally identified, was found on Sunday morning about a mile from where the 45-year-old mortgage adviser was last seen along the River Wyre in Lancashire.
It is understood that a man and a woman walking their dog discovered the body and called police.
Bulley, from Inskip, Lancashire, was last seen walking her dog in St Michael’s on Wyre after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, at school on 27 January.
In a message to Sky News on Sunday, her partner Paul Ansell said: “No words right now, just agony.
“We’re all together, we have to be strong.”
Read more: Timeline of events since Nicola Bulley's disappearance
The force said officers were called to the River Wyre close to Rawcliffe Road at about 11.35am on Sunday.
“An underwater search team and specialist officers have subsequently attended the scene, entered the water and have sadly recovered a body,” a statement said.
“No formal identification has yet been carried out, so we are unable to say whether this is Nicola Bulley at this time.
“Procedures to identify the body are ongoing. We are currently treating the death as unexplained.
“Nicola’s family have been informed of developments and our thoughts are with them at this most difficult of times.”
The body was found on an unremarkable stretch of the river, just past a slight bend, a mile or so outside the village, close to where a tree had fallen on its side half in and half outside the water, with branches and undergrowth partially submerged.
The police diving team could be seen conducting the search while a police drone and helicopter flew above.
Underwater search expert Peter Faulding, who was called in by Bulley’s family to help find her, found no trace of her in the section of river searched by his team and police divers over three days.
On Sunday, Faulding said he had only cleared the area around the bench where her mobile phone was found, and that the tidal section beyond the weir was “an open book”, according to MailOnline.
“All I can say is when we searched she was not on the bottom of that river,” he said.
“We weren’t searching the reeds, our job was to search the water.”
After his team's search two weeks ago, Faulding had said he was "convinced" that Bulley did not fall in the river.
Last Thursday, police revealed that Bulley had suffered "significant issues with alcohol" in the past which had resurfaced amid her "struggles with the menopause".
Although police previously said the mortgage adviser had "specific vulnerabilities", the force has faced criticism for revealing personal details about her mental wellbeing.
The following day, Faulding criticised police for not telling his team that Bulley was considered "high risk" as soon as the missing person case was launched.
Had he known this, the CEO of Specialist Group International said he would have changed the "whole search strategy" of his team of private divers, who tried using sonar technology to find the missing mother.
Lancashire Police had said it was working on the hypothesis that Bulley may have fallen into the River Wyre, but her friends and family disputed this theory.
Lancashire Police's handling of the case has been widely criticised, with home secretary Suella Braverman demanding an explanation as to why it had revealed details about Bulley's mental health and struggles with alcohol.
Commons leader Penny Mordaunt described the disclosure as "shocking" and said Braverman was right to raise concerns.
She told the BBC's Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: "I think it really does grate with a lot of women and we have to put up with all kinds of sexist behaviour in all kinds of settings.
"And I think to have it play out in this kind of environment is why people are so upset."
On Sunday, following news that a body had been found, Braverman tweeted: "These are heartbreaking and distressing developments. My thoughts remain with Nicola's family at this extremely difficult time."
Read more: Journalist sparks backlash over 'shameful' comments about Nicola Bulley detective
The force has referred itself to the independent police watchdog over contact it had with Bulley prior to her disappearance.
Earlier this week, Bulley's family said speculation about her private life, including her struggles with the menopause, "needs to stop" and that it had become a distraction from efforts to find her.
Their distress was compounded by TikTokers and internet sleuths wading into the case with their own theories, one of whom was arrested and fined for posting videos from the search area.
Watch: Rishi Sunak concerned that private information about Nicola Bulley was released