Trolls have reportedly hacked into a social media account owned by missing mother Nicola Bulley’s partner and posted explicit images of women. According to Express.co.uk, several photos of women, including topless models and an actress in a bikini, were shared on Paul Ansell’s Pinterest account yesterday.
Nicola disappeared after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, at school in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire on January 27. She was last seen at 9.10am taking her usual route along the River Wyre with her springer spaniel, Willow.
Her phone, still connected to a work call for her job as a mortgage advisor, was found just over 20 minutes later on a bench overlooking the riverbank while her dog was roaming free. There has been no sign of her since then, leaving partner Paul and her friends and family devastated.
Nicola’s disappearance has caught the attention of amateur internet detectives, who have come up with wild theories as to where she is. A social media influencer was even arrested by Lancashire police officers after claiming he had joined the search for Nicola.
In previous clips posted to his TikTok and YouTube channels, Dan Duffy said he joined the search because he “wants some answers” and “there’s a lot of conspiracy theories floating around the internet.” Nicola’s family have previously criticized “speculation and rumors” about the missing mother-of-two’s personal life, saying people even threatened to sell stories about her.
TikTok detectives also sparked outrage after uploading a video of them digging up ground in woods near where Nicola disappeared, despite repeated calls from police to halt such activities.
Yesterday’s updates to Paul’s Pinterest page sparked concern among users of the site, with some speculating that it has been hacked. After being alerted to the posts by the Sunday Express, Lancashire Police confirmed his account had been hacked and an investigation was ongoing.
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A spokeswoman for the force said: “A third party has accessed Paul Ansell’s Pinterest account and will be shut down. We are investigating the matter.”
The account was later deactivated.
Missing mother Nicola Bulley (Image: PA)
Heartbroken Paul, 44, has already been forced to hit back at online abuse he received. As part of the Channel 5 program Vanished: Where’s Nicola Bulley? He was asked how he felt about troll allegations against him. He said “it would be annoying” but only “if I allowed myself to read everything”.
He continued: “I saw some things. Most people have been great, there’s always going to be that 2 percent of people who for some reason don’t say and do very nice things, but I don’t want to give that any energy. Emma White, a friend of Nicola’s, said some people on social media had made “hurtful comments”.
The police search for Nicola entered its fourth week yesterday.