Paul Ansell, partner of Nicola Bulley, ‘100 per cent convinced’ she is not in river

Mr Ansell made a plea for the police to widen their search beyond the river and to scrutinise every house, garage, piece of land and outbuilding. He said it was unlikely a stranger could go unnoticed in the village. 

He said: “You see the same faces every single day, and on the very odd occasion when you see somebody that… you don’t know, they stand out like a sore thumb.

“So whatever has happened, in my eyes has to be somebody who knows the local area, who knows that.”

He described the situation as “unprecedented hell”, but said his positivity remained “stronger than ever”, adding: “I’m never, ever going to let go.”

His comments come after a private diving team, led by Peter Faulding, using specialist sonar equipment joined the search of the River Wyre on Tuesday, but did not find anything to suggest she had fallen in. 

Mr Faulding, of Specialist Group International, told The Telegraph he was certain Ms Bulley was not in the stretch of the river where police think she fell.

“She’s not in the stretch of river before the Weir and we searched the next stretch down to Cartford Bridge,” he said. “There’s no sign of her there.”

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