Nicola Bulley cause of death: Dog walker died in a tragic accident, coroner rules


Nicola Bulley drowned after accidentally falling down a steep river bank into cold water, a coroner ruled today – as her partner said he believes she was trying to put a harness on their dog at the time.
The 45-year-old vanished after dropping off her six and nine daughters at school and taking her usual dog walk along the River Wyre in St Michael’s, Lancashire, on January 27.
Dr James Adeley recorded her death as accidental, saying she fell in and suffered ‘cold water shock’. He said there was ‘no evidence as to why Nikki entered the water’ but said there was no evidence of suicide, and he had been able to rule out foul play. Delivering his conclusions today, he said: ‘Whether or not Nikki’s first breath was above or below the water, she would have lost consciousness before reaching the first point in the River Wyre where she could have touched the bottom.’

Nicola Bulley and the Tragic Accident

Ms Bulley was last seen by a fellow dog walker in a field with the family dog, Willow, at 9.10 am.
Dr Adeley highlighted how Ms Bulley’s Fitbit – recovered from her body, charged and synchronised – recorded a ‘substantially increased heart rate’ at 9.22 am and stopped recording steps after 9.30 am.
The senior coroner for Lancashire highlighted how police divers testified to the ‘almost vertical’ river bank beneath the bench where Ms Bulley’s phone was found just after 9.30 am. She had adjusted the volume on her iPhone at 9.18 am.
Ruling out third-party involvement, Dr Adeley highlighted how none of the villagers in the field at the time had seen anyone suspicious in the immediate area. He added that Ms Bulley had generally been acting before her death and -” aside from some throwaway comment” – there was no indication she meant to take her own life.
NicolaBulley’s family slammed online trolls after a coroner ruled that the mother-of-two accidentally died after falling into a river near her home.

Coroner’s Investigation and Findings

A statement issued outside the court on behalf of MsBulley’ss family urged people” to look at the fact” and ignore those spreading baseless theories on the internet.”We encourage people to look at the facts, the evidence heard during the inquest, and the conclusion reached by the coroner, to ignore any amateur views and opinions, and be mindful of the impact words bring,” the statement said.
An inquest into her death concluded that Ms Bulley died after accidentally falling into the River Wyre in freezing temperatures.
She was walking her springer spaniel Willow when she accidentally fell into the water, with experts stating it would have been” almost impossible to swim against the current”.
Mother-of-two Nicola Bulley died after accidentally falling into the River Wyre in freezing temperatures, an inquest has concluded.

Conclusion and Condolences

The 45-year-old mortgage adviser was walking her springer spaniel when she accidentally fell into the water in StMichael’ss, Lancashire, with experts stating it would have been” almost impossible to swim against the current”.
Bulley would have suffered cold water shock, which would have produced a”powerful response”, causing her to inhale a fatal amount of water and lose consciousness within a maximum of 45 seconds, the inquest heard.
A Home Office pathologist told the inquest at Preston County Hall that her cause of death was drowning and that there had been no evidence of any third-party involvement.
Giving evidence on Tuesday, Bulley’ss tearful partner Paul Ansell broke down as he recalled her devotion to her family and two children.
Providing a final answer in a case that saw amateur sleuths trek to her hometown, senior coroner for Lancashire, Dr James Adeley, gave his conclusion that Bulley had died an accidental death and did not have”any desire” to take her own life.

Contributing Factors

Her disappearance on January 27 caused widespread speculation and became the focus of a social media frenzy, with TikTok conspiracy theorists descending on the village where she disappeared.
Due to the case’s high-profile nature, security remained tight throughout the two-day inquest, with Dr Adeley threatening imprisonment or fines to anyone who intended to disrupt the proceedings.
After the inquest, her family addressed social media’s role in the investigation and said it was”upsetting” that they continue to receive online abuse. Bulley’ss body was not discovered until February 19, just a mile downstream from the bench where her dog Willow and her mobile phone had been found.
She had last been seen alive at 9.10 am by a fellow dog-walker, while her phone data revealed that she had increased the volume of her device at 9.18 am.

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Olivia Wilson

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