Nicola Bulley’s dad is desperately hoping for a ‘breakthrough’ three weeks after his daughter mysteriously vanished.
Heartbroken Ernie Bulley revealed how he struggles each day since his daughter went missing in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire.
The 73-year-old told Sky News he was hoping for a ‘breakthrough’, with 22 days having passed since she disappeared.
‘Every day is a struggle,’ he said. ‘We are no further on from three weeks ago.’
‘[We] need a breakthrough to give us some hope.’
On Thursday, Nicola’s family hit out at ‘wild theories about her personal life’, following a statement by Lancashire police she ‘struggled with alcohol and the menopause’.
‘We, as a family, believe that the public focus has become distracted from finding Nikki, & more about speculation and rumours into her private life,’ they said in a statement.
Sister Louise Cunningham also marked the 22nd day of her disappearance with an online tribute.
‘Three weeks without you home,’ Louise posted on social media, besides a photo of her, Nicola and their 72-year-old mum Dot.
‘We all miss you so much. Time to come home now,’ she wrote.
Police have searched for Nicola since 27 January, scouring rivers and nearby land.
That morning she dropped her two kids off at school and took the dog Willow for a walk, as normal.
Her phone – still connected to a call – and the lead and harness for the springer spaniel were later found by a dog walker who raised the alarm.
Emotional messages have been left by the family on the bridge near where Nicola vanished.
‘Nikki, please come home. I love you, Lou xxx,’ wrote sister Louise, while mum and dad Dot and Ernie penned: ‘We pray every day for you. Love you, Mum and Dad xxx.’
Lancashire Police confirmed on Wednesday Nicola was treated as a high-risk missing person before she vanished.
Officers also divulged they visited her home on 10 January, following a report of concern for her welfare.
The force has been criticised for sharing such personal information and it is facing a probe by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Rishi Sunak has said he was ‘concerned that private information was put into the public domain’ during a press conference in Northern Ireland.
Asked what he thought of the information disclosed by the force, the Prime Minister replied: ‘Well I agree with the Home Secretary, and like her I was concerned that private information was put into the public domain.
‘I’m pleased that the police are looking at how that happened in the investigation.
‘Obviously my thoughts are with Nicola’s friends and family and the focus must now be on continuing to try and find her.’
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