A woman approached as a potential witness by police investigating the disappearance of Nicola Bulley has said she “doesn’t know anything”.

Christine Bowman, 67, had been identified as a dog walker who may have been one of the last people to see Bulley before her disappearance last Friday morning as she walked her dog near the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire.

Bowman, a retired teacher, was traced following a police appeal and told the Daily Mirror she had already spoken to officers and “doesn’t know anything”.

She added: “It has made local women fearful. If they have husbands or partners, they have been taking the dogs out instead.”

Lancashire constabulary have launched a huge search operation and have said despite “unanswered questions”, people should not “speculate or spread false rumours” about Bulley’s disappearance.

Bulley, 45, a mortgage adviser from Inskip, Lancashire, vanished while walking her dog after dropping off her daughters, aged six and nine, at school last Friday morning.

Her mobile phone and the lead and harness for her dog, a springer spaniel called Willow, were found on a bench close to the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre in the Lancashire countryside.

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Bulley’s husband, Paul Ansell, an engineer, her parents and sister have pleaded for information.

Police divers using specialist equipment have been seen searching the River Wyre below where Bulley’s items were found on the bench. She was last seen at 9.10am last Friday while walking her dog. She had logged on to a work Teams call, which ended at 9.30am while she was still logged on.

Bulley and her family are originally from Essex but moved to Lancashire about 25 years ago.

Lancashire constabulary have said they do not believe any crime has been committed and are treating the incident as a missing person inquiry.

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