Police searching for missing Nicola Bulley have found a body in the river.
The mother-of two disappeared during a riverside dog walk in St Michael’s on Wyre in Lancashire three weeks ago, sparking a major search operation.
Lancashire Police said they “sadly recovered a body” after they were called to the River Wyre near Rawcliffe Road at 11:35 GMT on Sunday.
A statement said formal identification had not yet been carried out “so we are unable to say” if it was Ms Bulley.
The death was currently being treated 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,” Lancashire Police said.
Ms Bulley, who worked as a mortgage adviser, was last seen walking her springer spaniel Willow after dropping off her two daughters, aged six and nine, at school on 27 January.
Her dog was found shortly after, along with her phone – still connected to a work conference call – on a bench by a steep riverbank.
Police previously said they believed the 45-year-old had gone into the river and that her disappearance was not suspicious.
The body was found about a mile from where she was last seen in the small village of St Michael’s on Wyre.
The search drew huge interest, with large numbers of people visiting and filming around the area.
It led to police issuing dispersal notices and warnings over anti-social behaviour.
Following various theories spread on social media, her family said public focus had “become distracted from finding Nikki, and more about speculation and rumours”.
Lancashire Police faced a backlash after disclosing Ms Bulley’s struggles with the menopause and alcohol, which they said was “to avoid any further speculation”.
It followed comments they made that she had been categorised as high-risk due to “specific vulnerabilities”.
Ms Bulley’s family said they aware beforehand that police were revealing the details, adding: “Although we know that Nikki would not have wanted this, there are people out there speculating and threatening to sell stories about her.”