Debbie Griggs: After 20 years, cops find remains of murdered pregnant woman who had mysteriously vanished in 1999

Debbie Griggs: After 20 years, cops find remains of murdered pregnant woman who had mysteriously vanished in 1999
Debbie Griggs, 34, was reported missing by her husband Andrew Griggs on May 5, 1999, while she was four months pregnant (Kent Police)

SAINT LEONARDS, ENGLAND: In a shocking discovery, the remains of a pregnant woman were found in the back garden of a home more than 20 years after she was murdered. Debbie Griggs disappeared from her home in Deal, Kent, in May 1999.

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The 34-year-old's body was never found and her husband Andrew Griggs was convicted of her murder and jailed for life in October 2019. Authorities have confirmed her body has been discovered in the back garden of a home in St Leonards, Dorset.

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Andrew had reportedly moved to the property in July 2001. The police searched the home following a tip-off on October 5, 2022. The human remains included teeth fragments. A post-mortem confirmed that the remains belonged to Debbie. As per reports, further tests will be carried out to determine the cause of death.

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According to the Sun, Debbie's heartbroken sister Wendie Rowlinson said, "In short, 2 years after he murdered her, he moved house and actually took her with him. Then buried her in the back yard."

She further said, "PM (Postmortem) confirmed it definitely her, plus her unborn (18 week) son. Lots of unbelievable nasty details .But for me, the most unbelievable is that he took her to the new house," adding, "I truly don’t think any murderer has done that before."

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Debbie was reported missing by her husband Andrew on May 5, 1999, while she was four months pregnant. Andrew claimed she had left the family home in anger after he came home from work and fell asleep. Debbie's white Peugeot 309 was found abandoned days after her disappearance 1.3 miles from their home in Walmer.

Following a cold case review in March 2019, Andrew, who had remarried, was charged with murdering Debbie. At his trial, prosecutors argued he killed his wife after she came to know about his affair with a 15-year-old girl. The accused was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years. During sentencing, the judge said it was likely the sailor had "dumped her body at sea".

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Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said, "It is now more than 20 years since Debbie Griggs was murdered by her husband but we have never given up hope of one day finding her remains and giving her loved ones some closure."

He further said, "Andrew Griggs denied being responsible for his wife’s disappearance but this discovery is further proof that he was lying all along, causing even greater anguish for everyone who knew and loved Debbie," adding, "Whilst they continue to mourn her tragic loss to this day, I hope they can take some comfort in the knowledge that she can now be laid to rest."

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Detective Chief Inspector Neil further said, "We will continue to keep Debbie’s family updated on the progress of our ongoing enquiries and provide support to them at this difficult time."

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