Debbie Griggs’ three sons grew up playing in the garden where killer dad buried their pregnant mom
SAINT LEONARDS, ENGLAND: After a shocking discovery led the authorities to the remains of Debbie Griggs, 34, more details have emerged about the victim who vanished from the family home in Deal, Kent, in May 1999 when she was four months pregnant.
Her husband, ex-fisherman Andrew Griggs, 60, moved to a new house with his and Debbie’s three young sons and his second wife in 2001. According to The Sun, the three children grew up convinced their dad was innocent, unaware their mother’s remains were under the grass they played on.
While speaking to the Sun, Andrew's mother Pamela Griggs, 86, said that Debbie's children Jeremy, 29, Jake, 27, and Luke, 25, would often run around in the garden where their mom's remains were found.
She said, “I actually bought the house with my late husband. Andrew and the three boys moved in with us after she went missing. I helped bring them up. They used to play in the garden and do all the things young boys do," adding, “We had no idea what had happened to their mother, just that she had gone off."
She added, “We lived there with them for eight years before we moved out and bought a bungalow but we visited Andrew, his new wife and the boys regularly.”
Pamela said that she was told about human remains being found in the garden by a relative. She said, “I’m in shock I just don’t know what to think. My head just won’t take it in. I can’t put two and two together.”
Although Debbie's remains were found following a tip-off on October 5, 2022, Andrew was jailed for life for her murder in October 2019 after a cold case review in the same year.
The Kent Police confirmed the human remains included teeth fragments. A post-mortem concluded that the remains belonged to Debbie. As per reports, further tests will be carried out to determine the cause of death.
Meanwhile, Andrew had claimed that Debbie left the family home in anger after he came home from work and fell asleep. Her white Peugeot 309 was found abandoned days after her disappearance 1.3 miles from their home in Walmer.
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."
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said at the time, "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."