The husband of Diane Jones, whose body was found in a copse in Martlesham almost 40 years ago, has died aged 80, it has emerged.

Dr Robert Jones died several weeks ago at his home in France, according to MailOnline.

His pregnant wife was 35 when she last seen at a pub in her town of Coggeshall in Essex on July 23, 1983, being reported missing nine days later.

Mrs Jones' body was eventually discovered three months after her disappearance in a copse adjacent to the A1093 road at Martlesham.

East Anglian Daily Times: Dr Robert Jones (right) with his solicitorDr Robert Jones (right) with his solicitor (Image: Archive)

She was found to have a fractured skull, with Suffolk and Essex police launching a joint murder investigation.

Extensive enquiries were made in both counties at the time and the probe continued in the years since as further pieces of information came to light.

The case captured national headlines, but no killer has ever been brought to justice.

Thirty years after former social worker Mrs Jones was killed, fresh details emerged about the argument she had with her husband on the night she vanished.

It was reported Dr Jones and Mrs Jones – his third wife – had been on verge of separating when she went missing.

East Anglian Daily Times: The scene of the discovery of Diane Jones' body in MartleshamThe scene of the discovery of Diane Jones' body in Martlesham (Image: Archive)

Before her body was found, Dr Jones explained to journalists how she had vanished when they returned to their farmhouse from the pub in Coggeshall.

She had got out of the car by the house, he said.

He added: "She always liked to do that because the gravel damages ladies’ heels. I parked the car in the garage and was just a few minutes."

However, he said when he went into the house his wife had gone.

Dr Jones was subsequently arrested on November 14, 1983, before being released on bail two days later and was never charged with the murder of his wife.