Highlights of the UK missing person case rise of amateur sleuths on TikTok


The tragic story of a British woman’s death and disappearance has shed unsettling light on the development of “amateur detectives” and “internet sleuths” who think they can do the police’s job.

The initial news coverage of the disappearance of mortgage advisor Nicola Bulley, 45, in late January was understated. It appears that she vanished “into thin air,” leaving her phone on a bench still connected to a work call.

By the time her body was discovered a little more than three weeks later, the case had gained widespread attention and had turned into a spooky social media free-for-all.

Investigators had concentrated on the hypothesis that Bulley, a married mother of two young girls, had drowned after entering a nearby river.

To the dismay of her family, the true crime internet community rapidly became flooded with rumours about what might have happened to her after officers and other expert divers first failed to find her body.