Accused wife killer refused bail as cold case hits court

Patricia Riggs
Patricia Riggs

BREAKING: Sunshine Coast man Edmund Ian Riggs has been refused bail over the cold case murder of his wife Patricia.

This is despite all four of the couple's children each offering $50,000 in surety should he be released. 

Crown Prosecutor Sarah Farnden revealed on Friday that Mr Riggs allegedly dumped his 32-year-old wife in a shallow grave at a Redcliffe cemetery and later returned to gather her bones and bury them in his backyard.

Ms Farnden told Brisbane Supreme Court Mr Riggs did not report his wife missing until three days after she was last seen by her children in September, 2001.

She said Patricia Riggs left her home with her mobile phone and credit card but that neither was ever used again.

She also claimed Mr Riggs presented a flight risk if granted bail as he had previously fled to NSW and stayed in hotels around Byron Bay and Nimbin during the initial police investigation in 2001.

Mr Riggs was living on the Sunshine Coast when he was arrested after his late wife's remains were discovered during renovations of his former home in August this year.

Defence barrister Lars Falcongreen argued Mr Riggs had the support of his family and he would "never betray the faith of his children" by skipping bail.

He also pointed to the statement of a witness who claimed to have seen Ms Riggs at a Townsville aquarium after the date she was said to have disappeared.

But Justice James Douglas said the "significant issue" for Mr Riggs was that his wife's body was found at the family home.

He also said the strength of the prosecution case was helped by the evidence of a cemetery worker who identified Mr Riggs on a police photo board as the man he had allegedly seen digging in the dark around the time Ms Riggs disappeared.

Mr Riggs was remanded in custody. He will appear in court on a date to be set next year.

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