The dog walker who found Nicola Bulley’s phone on a bench has explained that he thought “this is not right” when he saw the device on the morning of her disappearance.
Speaking to the media for the first time, the dog walker, who gave his name as Ron, also told Sky News of the moment he saw the wallpaper on the phone showing Ms Bulley and her partner Paul Ansell before the police were called and the mother-of-two was reported missing.
Ron was walking his dog in the same area where Ms Bulley was last seen this morning as Sky News presenter Kay Burley and correspondent Inzamam Rashid retraced her last movements three weeks after her disappearance.
The dog walker said he gave a full statement to the police after finding Ms Bulley’s phone on a bench in the park at around 9:30am on Friday 27 January.
Ms Bulley was last seen by someone else in the park at 9:01am.
Reflecting on the three weeks since Ms Bulley’s disappearance, Ron said: “Each day something new comes out doesn’t it.”
He didn’t know Ms Bulley but recognised her dog Willow.
“I’d seen both owners of Willow walking this dog in the past, but while I knew their faces I didn’t know their names,” he said.
Ron added that when he first found the phone he thought “somebody had gone to toilet”.
He added: “I got to about this red brick building here and I thought ‘this is not right’.
“Then it was just a progression of things happening, you know. Because of the wallpaper on the phone we found out who the couple were, and the school was contacted and [her partner] Paul arrived.”