Wife Leigh Ann Sabine died aged 74 from cancer in October 2015, and is currently the main suspect in this investigation.
Wife is believed to have killed her husband, wrapped his body in plastic in their garden and kept it secret for 18 years. The mystery skeleton found in plastic sheets in a quiet village have been identified as missing husband John Sabine last seen in 1997. His body was found last month just three weeks after his own wife Leigh Ann Sabine died aged 74 from cancer. Detectives investigating the grim discovery say his wife is the ‘main suspect’ in their probe. New Zealand-born Mrs Sabine had continued to live in the same apartment block in Beddau, near Pontypridd, South Wales.
His body was found in plastic wrapping in the street called Trem-Y-Cwm three weeks after her death. A post-mortem examination established Mr Sabine had injuries “consistent with an assault”.
Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Morgan said: “This is an extraordinary set of circumstances and we are working tirelessly to put together the pieces of what is a complex investigation.” Police said Mr Sabine would now have been 85 if he had lived. A police spokesman said: “He is believed to have moved to Trem-Y-Cwm with his wife Leigh Ann Sabine in February 1997. “DNA evidence has confirmed the identity of Mr Sabine, who was last seen in 1997. Mrs Sabine passed away on October 30, 2015 and is currently the main suspect in this investigation.” Mr Morgan added: “We would appreciate hearing from anyone who knew John and Leigh (Ann) Sabine and who may have socialised with them or met them back in 1996-1997. “We would also appeal directly to the community in and around Trem-Y-Cwm to contact us with any information they may have in relation to the plastic wrapping that Mr Sabine was concealed in.”
Neighbours are believed to have found the human remains in grounds at the apartment block. Police confirmed the body was lying above ground, but was wrapped in plastic sheeting.
Neighbour Violet Scott, 75, said: ‘It is a complete mystery but I cannot believe the body has been there for all these years.’ “Leigh was a very talkative and outgoing woman, but it is hard to comprehend what has happened. I didn’t know her husband, but I know he was a fireman and we all thought he died a dozen or so years ago. “It could be that she kept his body in her home and then decided to move it when she knew her own end was close. It was found on ground between two of the flats next to her home. I can’t believe it has been there for all these years.” Mrs Scott added: “Leigh could be very straightforward, but it is difficult to think she could have killed someone. She had another man living for for a few years but he left – I don’t know what happened to him. “I asked Leigh if she would ever go back to New Zealand. But she told me: ‘No – I could never leave here.’ We are all speculating that it is because the body was here all that time. It is very mystifying. “She was always very active until the last few months when she had brain cancer. It is very strange that the body was found so soon after her death.”
Another neighbour, 42-year-old Sharon Rowlands, said: “It is terrible to think what has gone on – without any of us knowing. We had no idea there was a dead body there until police arrived.”
A local hairdresser, said: ‘We couldn’t believe the police announcement. ‘We all knew her. She would come in here and even used to bring us presents at Christmas. We called her “Mad Leigh” because she had her funny ways. ‘She had a heart of gold though. She is the last person you would expect to be accused of something like this. ‘We knew she had had a husband, and that they were separated. We thought that he had gone away. ‘We found out she was ill and sent her a message to the hospital she was at telling her we were all thinking of her. The next day we were told she had died.’
The Sabines were not believed to have any children.