The excavation continues at Burpengary today. Picture: Glenn Hunt/AAP
The excavation continues at Burpengary today. Picture: Glenn Hunt/AAP

Daughter’s remains: ‘It’s a bloody lie’

THE father of Patricia Riggs does not believe his daughter's killer has told police the truth about where he buried her body and dug up her remains years later.

Jon Knowles said he did not think police would find the rest of his daughter Tricia's remains where her husband Edmund Ian Riggs said he left them years ago.

Riggs, who is awaiting sentence for manslaughter and interfering with a corpse, was taken from jail by police on Monday, after he offered to show them where Tricia's remains were.

Mr Knowles said Riggs provided police with a map last Friday and on Monday took them to where he said he parked his car on the night he dug up part of her remains.

"He nominated the spot where he had buried her, within a 20m by 20m range," Mr Knowles said.

"In my opinion, it's a bloody lie by him."

 

A court sketch of Edmund Ian Riggs. Illustration: Brett Lethbridge
A court sketch of Edmund Ian Riggs. Illustration: Brett Lethbridge

 

 

A poster seeking information on the whereabouts of Tricia Riggs
A poster seeking information on the whereabouts of Tricia Riggs

 

Mr Knowles believed Riggs wanted to qualify for parole under "no body, no parole" legislation.

Police have been digging up a reserve in Burpengary north of Brisbane for the last two days but today confirmed they had not found anything.

Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Knight said while no human remains were found police had taken soil for further forensic testing.

The soil will be tested to see if it matches the soil found with some of Tricia's bones, which were found buried in Riggs's former Margate back yard in 2016.

"We have not recovered human remains, but it remains to be seen if we've recovered other relevant information that might link us back to an initial crime scene," Sen-Sergeant Knight said.

Tricia Riggs’s father Jon Knowles
Tricia Riggs’s father Jon Knowles

 

Last month, Riggs was found not guilty of the murder of his wife of 17 years but guilty of unlawfully killing her. He pleaded guilty to interfering with her corpse.

Tricia Riggs, 34, disappeared in 2001.

Riggs told Brisbane Supreme Court that on September 30, 2001, Tricia spat in his face, he pushed her with both hands, she hit her head on the bottom of a bedpost, fell to the floor convulsing, and died.

During his trial, Riggs said he buried her body in bush near Morayfield, north of Brisbane, that night.

He said he went back two to three years later, at night, to dig up the remains, after seeing excavation in the area and fearing her bones would be found.

He said he did not dig up all her remains, after reacting to seeing his wife's skull.

Riggs said he reburied the bones he collected in the back yard of the family's Margate home, where they were discovered by a new owner in 2016.

 

Tricia Riggs with her father on her wedding day in 1984
Tricia Riggs with her father on her wedding day in 1984

 

"He has to take them to this point, where he said he left her remains. He wants to get on the side of the Parole Board," Mr Knowles said

"But his story just doesn't stack up."

Mr Knowles said it did not make sense that if Riggs was so concerned about the remains being found, that he would have left some of her bones behind and not returned for them.

"Why only pick up half her bones?" Mr Riggs said.

It is believed Riggs also told police he left behind a doonah and rug, which he had wrapped the body in, in the shallow bush grave.

"He can't change his story because that would make him a liar," Mr Knowles said, referring to the evidence Riggs gave in court.

Mr Knowles said he had been told the ground where police were digging in the search for the rest of his daughter's remains had previously been dug up by a local council.

After Riggs was found guilty of manslaughter Tricia's brother Mark Knowles said the family wanted to recover the rest of her remains so she could be buried with dignity.