The family of a woman who went missing after doing the school run have issued an appeal for information saying her ‘two young children [are] waiting for their mummy to come back’.

Nicola Bulley, 45, has not been seen since she dropped her two daughters off at school in Lancashire on Friday 27 January and went to walk the family’s springer spaniel Willow.

Her sister Louise Cunningham and parents Dot and Nicola’s dad Ernest spoke with Sky News on Thursday to try and jog people’s memories ahead of the one-week mark of Nicola’s disappearance.

Louise said: ‘It feels like I’m just stuck in a nightmare. We’re going round and round in circles trying to piece together what could have possibly happened.

‘It’s like she’s just vanished into thin air. We just want her home, we need her home, her children need her home. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.’

Nicola’s dad added that his daughter’s disappearance ‘has just emptied our lives at the minute, we just feel so empty’ before thanking the police and public for everything they’ve done so far.

He continued: ‘There are two young children there waiting for their mummy to come back. And if Nicola is out there and she’s watching this – come home, contact the police. We just want you back.’

British police are baffled as to what happened to Nicola and have said they’re ‘keeping an open mind’. Authorities were alerted to Nicola’s disappearance when a passerby found her dog running wild and her phone still connected to a work conference call and abandoned beside the River Wyre.

According to Nicola’s boss at a mortgage adviser firm, she dialled into a conference call with colleagues just after 9am. Her phone was on mute and the camera was off, so he assumed that she was just listening to the conversation.

Nicola’s partner of 12 years, Paul Ansell, has also spoken out since Nicola vanished and said that their two daughters aged nine and six are absolutely devastated and confused about her disappearance.

He told the Press Association: ‘It is just perpetual hell. It is just utter disbelief. We are living through this but it doesn’t feel real. All we can say is we need to find her. She’s got two little girls that need their mummy home. We have got to get some good news now.’

Nicola’s parents also spoke with The Mirror, saying that they had asked the police if there was a chance that their daughter had been ‘taken’. Ernest said that they were told officers don’t think that’s the case.

He added: ‘If the worst came to the worst and she was never found, how will we deal with that for the rest of our lives? We will never stop looking.’

Nicola was last seen at 9.15am on Friday January 27, and since then, a police helicopter, drones and dogs have been used searching for the missing woman. Underwater search teams and mountain rescue have also been called in for assistance.

A team of 25 volunteers have also scoured a wooded area close to the river; nearby ditches, other water margins and the grounds of an old abandoned house in the St. Michael’s House area.

Nicola is described as 5’3″ tall with shoulder length brown hair and was dressed in a long black hooded gillet with black jeans and green wellies for walking her dog when she was last seen. Police say she was very familiar with the area.

Superintendent Sally Riley of Lancashire Police said: ‘We do believe that the likelihood is that Nicola has gone missing and this is not a crime inquiry, but we are keeping an open mind. The banking is very steep down to the river from the spot where she was last seen.’

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