Nicola Bulley's body was identified by dental records, inquest hears as family faces months waiting for more answers | The SunFebruary 22, 2023
NICOLA Bulley was identified via her dental records after the missing mum's body was pulled from a river, an inquest heard.
The mum-of-two, 45, was discovered on the banks of the River Wyre on Sunday 23 days after she vanished.
An inquest opened today at 12pm at Preston Coroner's Court.
No cause of death was released during the brief hearing, which was not attended by Nicola's family.
The court was told the mum-of-two had to be identified through her dental records.
Consultant maxillofacial surgeon Ian Edwards found restorative work carried out was identical to Nicola's dental records.
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Senior coroner Dr James Adeley said: "I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities, and more, that positive identification has been made."
Evidence gathered by police and the post mortem require "further evaluation, the court heard.
The inquest was adjourned ahead of a full hearing in June 2023 to allow time to "collate the facts of the case".
Further time is also needed to allow the experts to "finalise the findings from investigations that still need to be undertaken", the coroner said.
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Dr Adeley added: “This is the opening of the inquest into the death of Nicola Jane Bulley.
“The family have been informed of the date, time and place of the opening and have chosen not to attend for reasons I understand.
“My condolences are and remain with them."
Lancashire Police confirmed on Monday that Nicola's body had been identified.
She was discovered less than a mile from where she was last seen in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, at around 9.15am on January 27.
In a heartbreaking statement, Nicola's family said their "worst fears had been confirmed".
They added: "We will never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments and that will never leave us.
"We will never forget Nikki, how could we, she was the centre of our world, she was the one who made our lives so special and nothing will cast a shadow over that.
"Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most."
The statement continued: "Our hearts truly break for others who have missing loved ones. Keep that hope alive.
"Finally, Nikki, you are no longer a missing person, you have been found, we can let you rest now.
"We love you, always have and always will, we'll take it from here."
Nicola's disappearance sparked a mystery after her mobile was found on a bench still connected to a work conference call.
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Nicola's pet springer spaniel Willow was also found – but there was still no trace of the mum-of-two.
Her death is now being treated as unexplained.
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