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Missing SA woman’s remains found

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UPDATED: The body of Colleen Adams has been recovered on a Yorke Peninsula property 45 years after she went missing, as her husband faced court today charged with her murder.

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The remains where discovered on the site of the couple’s former home at Maitland after Geoffrey Adams was arrested and pointed police to the property.

Head of Major Crime Des Bray said police located Colleen Adams’ remains about 1pm today.

“She was in the area indicated to us,” Detective Superintendent Bray said.

Police arrested 70-year-old Geoffrey Adams at his Wallaroo home yesterday afternoon, before travelling with him to the property at Maitland, where the couple lived with their children.

The property was cordoned off as a crime scene and covered with a tent overnight, before police began their dig this morning, with heavy machinery brought in about 10.30am to assist in the effort.

Geoffrey Adams appeared by video-link in Kadina Magistrates Court today, after he spent the night in custody at Port Pirie.

He did not apply for bail and was remanded to reappear before the court in October.

He had previously told police he awoke about 7am on November 22, 1973, to find his wife fully dressed with two packed suitcases.

According to Geoffrey Adams, she said she was leaving and never wanted to see him or the children again, before getting into a car with a middle-aged woman he did not know.

She was reported missing by her mother about a month later, but the case was not declared a major crime until 1979.

Claudine Lehner lives across the street from the house and attended birthing classes with Colleen Adams when their daughters were born.

She said she was shocked to hear Adams had been charged with his wife’s murder.

“I just couldn’t believe it, it was just out of the realm of reality in our little world,” she said.

“The fact that poor lovely young girl that I only saw that time at birthing classes was lying in a cold grave… to know (her) babies are left without their mother to grow up, it’s just awful.”

Lehner remembered Colleen Adams as a “lovely young girl” who was excited at the prospect of becoming a mother.

She said she found it hard to believe she had fled her husband, left her children behind and never contacted the family again.

“For that young girl who, from all accounts, was a good mother – how could she leave her babies behind?” she said.

“I just couldn’t account for that.”

-AAP

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