It was this week revealed the remains of Debbie Griggs had been discovered buried in the garden of her husband Andrew's former home - 23 years after she disappeared and three since he was convicted of her murder.
The twisted killer had moved to the house in Dorset from Deal with the couple's three young sons, who even after he was jailed refused to believe he had taken their mother's life.
Here, Debbie's sister, Wendie Rowlinson, tells in her own words how she lost not only her sibling, but her nephews too, and of the moment the whole world stopped when she discovered their mother had finally been found...
When we were told in 1999 that Debbie had upped and left, disappeared without a trace, without her precious boys, we all immediately knew the truth.
It's been very surreal - we have lived for 23 years knowing, but not knowing, coping with the unknown, and it turns out that was easier to deal with than this.
The days since being told police had received a tip-off about where Debbie may be have been so stressful. Now with the confirmation they have found our sister, it’s unbelievable and it's made the nightmare real.
We knew the truth, but we couldn't move on with no Debbie to be found.
We didn’t only lose a sister, but our nephews as well.
Those boys that played with all their cousins, our dad with all three on the hammock giggling away.
All that fun lost, silent, gone.
This devastated our already broken-hearted parents.
Mum and Dad often watched the boys, taking them to play group, school and caring for the baby, while our sister and Griggs worked.
When Debbie’s car appeared, we had a glimmer of hope, however, things became more sinister when the car had no fingerprints, and had the boot liner missing, reigniting our fears.
Our mother walked everywhere and anywhere, tirelessly, hoping for a sighting, putting up posters, attempting to get the big newspapers involved, to get Debbie’s story out there.
She was looking for an ‘anything’, each time returning home again heartbroken.
The police had searched Debbie’s house, surrounding fields, and had found nothing.
The police did take Griggs in for questioning, but without a body, and the story that he told, albeit not a consistent one, the police couldn’t charge him.
Days were spent wondering, crying, trying, wishing, missing. Suddenly they were months, years.
Family gatherings were not so important anymore. With Debbie not there, the space she left couldn’t be filled.
This had torn us apart. No more family birthdays at Debbie’s; life went on, children born, laughter to be heard, but suddenly a memory that would thrust one back to earth - Debbie wasn’t there to celebrate with us. Bringing us crashing into an empty reality.
Suddenly, 20 years later, to be told of an impending court case when Griggs was charged was unbelievable.
Having lost our mother in January, a brother joked that she'd gone up to Debbie and said "now, lets get this sorted".
We sat through the trial with baited breath, only to listen to Griggs' lies and denials.
Thankfully the jury could see through this façade and found him guilty.
To be told his minimum term was just 20 years was upsetting, given that we had spent 20 years without her, that her boys had spent 20 years believing she had abandoned them, and that we will still be denied Debbie for the rest of our lives.
Ten days ago we had a phone call to tell us there had been a tip off, as to where Debbie may lay.
This was apparently from a credible source - we were to enter a state of disbelief.
Nothing felt real anymore, unable to eat, emotions everywhere, nausea retching its ugly head. This could not possibly be true.
The dig stated on Wednesday, October 5, and time ceased to move.
To read how the tragic story unravelled over 23 years, click here.
Finally, late Friday evening we were informed they had found a body, which is when the world for us stopped.
We were told it could take up to a fortnight to confirm identity.
In the meantime we were left to have thoughts racing through our minds.
The post-mortem confirmed it was definitely her, and her unborn son.
There were lots of nasty details, but for me what is most unbelievable is that he took her to the new house.
After Debbie disappeared in 1999, Griggs moved first to his parent’s house in Deal, then the entire family moved in 2001, to Dorset.
That meant he had kept Debbie and moved her lifeless body with him 175 miles from Deal to his new home.
We knew he was a cold man; at court we realised he had planned the entire thing, but only now do we realise he is a complete psychopath.
We can only hope Debbie’s boys , who are all young men now, can find the strength to overcome this atrocious time and find some comfort that their mother loved them all without equivocation.