The TikTok ‘detectives’ trying to solve Nicola Bulley’s disappearance: Army of sleuths include psychics, vigilantes who have tried to break in to abandoned house and hundreds of ordinary members of the public
- People have live-streamed their attempts to find more information on the case
- But police chiefs issued a 48-hour dispersal order in response to disruption
An army of TikTok ‘detectives’ are sharing videos of their efforts to solve the disappearance of Nicola Bulley.
Vigilantes have live-streamed their attempts to break into an abandoned house, near the scene where she vanished in St Michael’s on Wyre in Lancashire two weeks ago.
Clips are being viewed and commented by hundreds of people who have become swept up in the mystery over the last fortnight.
Self-titled psychics and body language experts have also broadcast videos about the case while others are analysing satellite photos from home to try and find clues.
Lancashire Police has warned on more than one occasion that while grateful for offers to help, they would prefer the investigation be left to trained detectives.
Vigilantes have live-streamed their attempts to break into an abandoned house, near the scene where she vanished in St Michael’s on Wyre in Lancashire two weeks ago
Police chiefs issued a 48-hour dispersal order on Wednesday night in the area following reports of individuals from outside St Michael’s filming close to properties.
It gives officers the power to turn away anyone committing anti-social behaviour.
TikTok user Dan Duffy is one of a number of people who travelled to the village to film for his channel, ‘exploring_with_danny’.
READ MORE: Massive sea hunt for Nicola Bulley continues today as diving expert claims missing mother’s partner ‘believes she DIDN’T fall in river’
His broadcasts, which have involved him searching the riverside and nearby buildings at night, have been viewed as many as 1.2 million times on the platform.
In one video he is confronted by a man who tells him: ‘I understand the reason you’ve all come here and I appreciate the fact you’re helping out, but the grounds have been searched, the house has been searched, the police have been up and it is private property.’
Mr Duffy’s account has since been banned by TikTok for ‘multiple violations’ of its policies, according to inews.
A police spokesperson said yesterday: ‘Two dispersal notices were issued, and a number of other people were warned about their behaviour.
‘We hope that will give people some reassurance that we will not tolerate criminality, including trespass and criminal damage.
‘We are also aware of a number of grossly offensive comments being made on social media and elsewhere. We are looking into these and will not hesitate to take action where appropriate.’
Ms Bulley’s friend, Emma White, also spoke of the influx of amateur sleuths in the village in recent days.
Police chiefs issued a 48-hour dispersal order on Wednesday night in the area
Lancashire Police has warned on more than one occasion that while grateful for offers to help, they would prefer the investigation be left to trained detectives
She told Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 today: ‘The dispersal orders…what a misuse of the police time and a waste of valuable police resources, taking away from the ultimate goal of getting Nikki home.
‘We appreciate the help, it’s absolutely immense what people have given us, but we need to leave that work to the police.
‘What we need is to keep sharing Nikki’s face out there. We need to work on facts.
‘Believe me, we’re all doing the ‘what ifs’ and ‘where were we two weeks ago’?’
The leader of Wyre Council has also joined calls to stop the area becoming a ‘morbid tourist destination’.
Michael Vincent told the BBC that negative comments and speculation were ‘not helpful’ and urged people to stay away from the scene because it was ‘distasteful to the family’.
It comes as a close friend of Ms Bulley today told of the ‘agony’ of waiting for news, following an emotional vigil at their local village church two weeks after she vanished.
Ms Bulley, 45, and her family would attend medieval St Michael’s Church on the banks of the River Wyre in Lancashire, just a couple of hundred yards from where she disappeared.
The group home someone will have seen her alive
People are being urged to call police if they have any dashcam footage from the time she vanished
A police Search and Rescue team in Knott End-on-Sea, Lancashire, on the southern side of Morecambe Bay, as police continue their search for Nicola Bulley
A police Search and Rescue team in Knott End-on-Sea, Lancashire, on the southern side of Morecambe Bay this morning
The silent vigil was held before a small altar, with candles lit around a photo of smiling Ms Bulley and her partner, Paul Ansell.
Outside, lining the road through the village, friends of Ms Bulley again gathered for another roadside appeal.
They held up placards featuring her photograph, in a plea to ‘bring Nikki home’ and appealing for information.
Heather Gibbons, a family friend who attended the church vigil, said: ‘It’s the hub in the community, it’s a place where we’ve frequently been with Nikki. She would often be here with her girls and with Paul.
‘So yes, I’m sat in there thinking of the times where I’ve sat next to her, in the church, and really wishing I could go back … just, yeah, wishing she was here.
‘That’s exactly what it is, it’s an agonising wait, it’s almost a hell above hell, because the unknown is unbearable.
‘So, this morning at 10 o’clock we just opened the church for people to come and to light a candle, just to have a chance to come, a space to collect their thoughts, to be together.
‘It’s not a vigil in that we’ve lost hope, it’s almost trying to create that moment of hope for everybody to keep supporting one another.
‘We just needed a space to be able to think and pray and collect our thoughts for the family and for Nikki.
‘There’s been a lovely little turnout of people who just wanted to come and have that moment.
‘The family are on the worst rollercoaster of their lives, they are still holding on to hope, that there’s a chance we will get Nikki home safe.
‘They have the same thinking that nothing is making sense. They are just desperate for some evidence that will pinpoint exactly what has happened.’
Ms Bulley vanished while walking her springer spaniel dog Willow, alongside the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre on January 27.
She had dropped off her daughters, aged six and nine, at school and was on her usual walk when she disappeared, her phone – still connected to a call for her job as a mortgage advisor – was found on a bench overlooking the river.
Despite a huge search of the river and surrounding countryside by Lancashire Police, no trace of her has been found.
The force has discounted foul play and are treating the incident as a missing person enquiry, believing that Ms Bulley has fallen into the water.
But police say they are still keeping an ‘open mind’ and appealing for information.
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