A body found in the River Wyre yesterday afternoon has been formally identified as missing Nicola Bulley, Lancashire Police confirmed.
The 45-year-old was last seen on Friday 27th January while walking her dog by the river in St Michael's on Wyre.
A Lancashire Police spokesperson said: "Nicola’s family have been informed and are of course devastated. Our thoughts are with them at this time as well as with all her loved ones and the wider community.
"We recognise the huge impact that Nicola’s disappearance has had on her family and friends, but also on the people of St Michael’s. We would like to thank all of those who have helped during what has been a hugely complex and highly emotional investigation.
"Today’s development is not the outcome any of us would have wanted, but we hope that it can at least start to provide some answers for Nicola’s loved ones, who remain foremost in our thoughts."
In a statement released by Nicola's family, she has been described as the "centre of our world".
"We will never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments and that will never leave us", the statement reads.
"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 family have criticised some areas of the press, after receiving contact from Sky News & ITV last night, they have called on the press to leave the family alone.
"We tried last night to take in what we had been told in the day, only to have Sky News and ITV making contact with us directly when we expressly asked for privacy. They again, have taken it upon themselves to run stories about us to sell papers and increase their own profiles. It is shameful they have acted in this way. Leave us alone now."
In a message to Nicola, the family said: "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."
HM Coroner is now handling the case.
Lead Photo supplied by Lancashire Police