A man charged with murdering his wife more than 15 years ago at Margate, north of Brisbane, has been denied bail.
- Patricia Anne Riggs’s remains were found in her backyard in August
- Her husband, Edmund Ian Riggs, has been charged with her murder
- Riggs’ children were in court to support him for today’s bail hearing
The skeletal remains of Patricia Anne Riggs, who vanished in 2001, were discovered in the backyard of the house where she lived in August.
Edmund Ian Riggs, 57, was arrested and charged with murder and interfering with a corpse after his wife’s remains were found.
The gruesome discovery was made by a new owner of the home who was digging to build a retaining wall in the backyard.
Riggs was denied bail this morning after making an application in the Supreme Court.
The court heard Ms Riggs was reported missing to police by her husband on October 3, 2001, three days after she was last seen in their Margate home.
The couple’s children told police they had heard the garage and front doors opening several times in the night but did not know what happened to their mother.
Prosecutors said forensic officers found blood spatter in the bedroom of the family home during a search at the time and believe it belonged to Ms Riggs.
The court was told Riggs vanished for several weeks in 2001 after the property was declared a crime scene.
Prosecutors said he withdrew $1,000 in cash before travelling to Byron Bay where he rented motels under a false name.
He was eventually located after making contact with family members weeks later.
His four children were in court for the bail application and each provided affidavits in their support of their father.
Barrister Lars Falcongreen said they had visited their father in prison since his arrest four months ago.
Police will allege the remains of Ms Riggs may have been moved before being wrapped in a tarpaulin and buried in the far back corner of the yard.
Prosecutors said a witness told police he saw someone matching the accused’s description digging in a Redcliffe cemetery at about 4:00am one morning in early October 2001.
Justice James Douglas denied Riggs’ application, saying he failed to show cause as to why he should be granted bail.
The victim’s father, John Knowles, spoke to media outside court and said he was pleased with the decision.
He said his daughter’s disappearance has taken its toll on him and his other daughters.
“A very big impact — for 15 years not knowing where she was or what happened to her, a terrible impact,” Mr Knowles said.
“[She was] very loving; she loved all those kids.”