Online trolls have reportedly hacked into the social media accounts of missing Nicola Bulley’s partner Paul Ansell to post sexually explicit images of woman – as police revealed this afternoon that a body has been found in their search.
Hackers posted the explicit content to Paul Ansell’s Pinterest account yesterday before it was taken down, Lancashire Police confirmed in a statement.
The posts included women in lingerie and bikinis, as well as of topless women, the Sunday Express reported.
Lancashire Police said: ‘Paul Ansell’s Pinterest account has been accessed by a third party and is being closed down. We are investigating the matter.’
They added that the account has now been disabled and have launched a probe into how the account was hacked.
The social media accounts of Paul Ansell – the partner of missing Nicola Bulley – have been hacked by internet trolls
Mr Ansell, 44, has campaigned tirelessly to bring Nicola home , vowing that he would ‘never give up’ in the search for her (pictured in an interview with Channel 5)
The distressing development comes as police recovered a body in the search for the missing dog walker – less than one mile from where she vanished 23 days ago.
After receiving a tip-off from two walkers, an area close to Rawcliffe Road off the River Wyre was cordoned off and a huge search operation was launched.
Shortly afterwards it was confirmed that a body had been found but the force is waiting for a formal identification to be carried out.
Mr Ansell, 44, has campaigned tirelessly to bring Nicola home, vowing that he would ‘never give up’ in the search for her.
He has been pictured speaking to officers and diving expert Peter Faulding leading the search and tied a yellow ribbon to the bridge near where she disappeared with a note reading: ‘Nikki I love you! XXXXX Come home now!’
He said: ‘I want every house, every garage, every out building, the land scrutinised. I want it all searched. I want it all scrutinised, every piece of it.’
Ms Bulley was last seen seen at around 9.10am on January 27 as she walked her dog Willow along the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, close to her home in Inskip.
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 adviser – was found on a bench overlooking the river.
A police diving team at the River Wyre near St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, on Sunday as police continue their search for missing woman Nicola Bulley, 45
Mr Ansell has previously been pictured speaking to officers and diving expert Peter Faulding leading the search
Ms Bulley was last seen seen at around 9.10am on January 27 as she walked her dog Willow along the River Wyre
Paul said he was ‘at home drinking tea’ as normal when she vanished as he was working from home, and became worried when she hadn’t returned home at 10.30am.
The engineer has maintained hope she is still alive despite officers saying their main working hypothesis remains that Ms Bulley is in the river.
He previously spoke out about online abuse he has received for Channel 5’s programme Vanished: Where is Nicola Bulley?
High levels of interest in the case has meant Mr Ansell has been exposed to trolling from all corners of the internet – including from those who have levelled accusations against him.
He said: ‘It would be upsetting if I let myself read it all. I have seen some stuff.’
But he added that ‘most people have been amazing.’
Ms Bulley’s devastated partner revealed they had frequently spoken about getting married but had put their plans on hold due to the pandemic.
The discovery today came after a huge search was scrambled after two walkers spotted the body.
Mr Ansell tied a yellow ribbon onto a bridge near to where Ms Bulley vanished, reading: ‘Nikki I love you! Come home now!’
Around a dozen vehicles remain at the scene where police located a body
Detective superintendent Rebecca Smith, who has been leading the search, arrived moments before police confirmed the heartbreaking discovery.
The male walker was seen ashen faced as he talked to police and pointed at an outcrop of trees and undergrowth along the bank, saying: ‘There’s definitely a body there’.
By 1pm on Sunday police drones and a helicopter hovered over the outcrop of trees and undergrowth, while police divers took to the banks of the river Wyre.
Soon afterwards, Lancashire Police confirmed that a body had been located in the river.
A massive police presence descended on the village three weeks ago with dozens of officers, divers, search experts and high-tech equipment including drones.
Specialist searchers including Peter Faulding, who scoured the river using sonar equipment, also spent days in the area.
Mr Faulding took the unusual move of publicly stating he did not believe Ms Bulley was in the river, as it was so shallow she could simply have ‘stood up’ if she fell in.
Criticism of the force has been mounting since the 45-year-old’s disappearance on January 27.
This week police publicly divulged information about Nicola Bulley’s battles with alcohol brought on by the menopause – a decision critics blasted as ‘sexist’.
Former police officers have also questioned why basic actions such as closing off the area where Ms Bulley’s phone and dog were discovered for forensic examination were not completed.
The force has confirmed a date has been set for the internal review, which will be conducted by their Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Pauline Stables – but that date has not been made public.
On Friday Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley offered to conduct a review on behalf of the force, but Lancashire Police were criticised after deciding to do it themselves.
In a statement posted today Lancashire Police said: ‘This morning, Sunday, 19 February, you may be aware of police activity around the river near to St Michaels.
‘We want to provide you with an update on that activity. We were called today at 11:36am to reports of a body in the River Wyre, close to Rawcliffe Road.
‘An underwater search team and specialist officers have subsequently attended the scene, entered the water and have sadly recovered a body.
‘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 on-going. 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. We ask that their privacy is respected.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk