Remains of pregnant wife, 34, murdered by her husband are found

Remains of pregnant wife, 34, who was murdered more than 20 years ago by her fisherman husband are found in back garden of home in Dorset

  • Debbie Griggs was four months pregnant when she disappeared on May 5, 1999
  • Her husband Andrew, a fisherman, was found guilty of her murder in 2019  
  • Authorities thought Griggs could have dumped his wife’s body out at sea 
  • Kent Police has said her remains were found at a home in St Leonards, Dorset 

Debbie Griggs pictured on her 21st birthday. She was last seen aged 34 in 1999 when she was four-and-a-half months pregnant

The remains of pregnant Debbie Griggs, who was murdered more than 20 years ago by her husband, have been discovered in a back garden.

Debbie Griggs, 34, was four months pregnant when she mysteriously disappeared from her home in Deal, Kent, in the middle of the night on May 5, 1999.

Her husband Andrew was jailed for her murder on October 19, 2019. 

Now, almost three years exactly since the killer fisherman was locked away, Mrs Griggs’ remains have finally been unearthed in the garden of a property in property in St Leonards, Dorset, Kent Police said.

Her husband, Andrew Griggs, was finally found guilty of her murder 20 years later, in October 2019, following a cold case review.

Police received a tip-off two weeks ago that Mrs Griggs’ remains may be in the back garden of a house in St Leonards in Dorset, where Griggs had moved in 2001.

Human remains, including teeth fragments, had been found during the search and a post-mortem examination on October 14 confirmed that they were from Ms Griggs, the Kent Police said.

Andrew Griggs had moved to the property in July 2001, following the conclusion of the initial investigation into his wife’s whereabouts. 

Andrew Griggs was found guilty at Canterbury Crown Court in October 2019 of the murder of his pregnant wife, Debbie, who disappeared in May 1999 (Kent Police/PA)

He denied being responsible for her disappearance but was found guilty of murder and jailed for life in October 2019 after a review by cold case detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

During his court hearing, Mrs Griggs’ killer husband had tried to blame post-natal depression, claiming the auxiliary nurse had walked out on him and their children she adored, even though she was not suffering from the condition at the time.

In reality the controlling 57-year-old businessman had been having an affair with a 15-year-old girl and had told friends he wished his wife was dead.

At the time, nobody knew where Mrs Griggs remains were. Griggs has never said where the body was – and police never found any forensic material to prove he killed her or that she was dead. 

But during Griggs’ sentencing for murder, a judge said he suspected that Griggs, who was a fisherman, had dumped her body at sea in the English Channel. =

Sentencing Griggs, Mr Justice Robin Spencer said: ‘Her body has never been found, only you know how you killed her and where you disposed of her body.

‘You told lie after lie in the witness box, just as you did at the time of Debbie’s disappearance. 

‘In murdering your wife you destroyed the life of that unborn child as well. I strongly suspect that you dumped her body at sea.

‘You knew that stretch of coast like the back of your hand. It would not have been difficult to weigh her body down so that it sank.’

The judge said the length of time Mrs Grigg’s body has been concealed for – 20 years – and the fact that Griggs has still not revealed its location, was an aggravating factor in sentencing.

‘You robbed the mother of her children and her family of the very thing you have enjoyed over those 20 years.’

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