This Sunday marks 40 years since Diane Jones, whose body was discovered in Martlesham, was last seen alive. 

Over the last three years, the crime has been subject to a review by the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Unsolved Case Team.

Now a leading officer has said it is unlikely the case will be able to progress much further now following the death of the suspect.

Mrs Jones, 35, was last seen in a pub in Coggeshall on July 23, 1983, where she was described by witnesses as “drunk,” and reportedly had a row with her husband, Dr Robert Jones.  

Dr Jones told police that he drove his wife home to their home in Lees Farm, and dropped her outside the house, while he drove to park the car at a garage a few minutes away. 

This was the last time anyone remembers seeing Mrs Jones alive.  

Dr Jones did not report Mrs Jones – his third wife – missing until nine days after her disappearance. Searches were made along 70 miles of roadside verges and the Jones’ home, and house-to-house enquiries were conducted.  

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

On October 22, 1983, Mrs Jones’ body was discovered 30 miles away in a copse in Brightwell, adjacent to the A1093. Her remains were identified through dental records. 

Her skull had been fractured in four places, and forensics deduced from her injuries that she had been hit with a weapon similar to a slater’s hammer, with a long spike on one side and a square hammer. 

A pathologist speaking at an inquest held at Ipswich Crown Court the following year said it was likely that Mrs Jones’ body had been there since July or August. 

Mrs Jones was also around two months pregnant. 

Dr Jones was arrested twice, first in November 1983 and then again when fresh evidence was unearthed in 1990. However, on both occasions he was released without charge. 

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

In 2013, new details were revealed about the disappearance of Mrs Jones, who formerly worked as a social worker in Braintree. 

The Major Crime Current Position Report obtained by the EADT said that witnesses in the Woolpack pub where Mrs Jones was last seen alive described her as being drunk.  

It read: “Soon after being seated at the bar Diane fell off a stool backwards and had to be helped up. 

“At closing time Diane refused to leave the public house and said to Dr Jones ‘I’m not going home with you, you’ll beat me up’. 

“Dr Jones then put his dog, and Diane’s brown handbag, in his car and returned for Diane. 

“She refused to leave and had to be manhandled and carried to the door by Dr Jones. He then allegedly put her over his shoulder and carried her from the pub. 

“What happened after the couple left the Woolpack Public House remains in dispute.” 

Dr Jones always denied having anything to do with his wife’s murder. In June, it was reported by the MailOnline that he had died at his home in France “several weeks ago”, aged 80. 

As part of the review, opportunities around forensic exhibits were explored, several new leads followed-up and new witnesses have been interviewed.

The cases team also carried out enquiries in France and around a potential murder weapon.

Andy Guy, the Major Crime Review and Unsolved Case Team manager, said: “We had been making some positive progress in the case of Diane’s murder and were unearthing new information, even after all this time. 

“The death of the suspect in this inquiry means it is unlikely we will be able to progress much further now, as we are not currently looking for anyone else in connection with this crime.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to reach the evidential threshold required for a prosecution for murder on two separate occasions. 

“This case will remain with our team. Several people have spoken to us recently who had not felt able to do so before, but we would still like to hear from anyone who believes they have information about the incident.” 

Anyone who believes they may have information which could assist with the investigation should contact the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Crime Review and Unsolved Case Team on 01953 423819 or by emailing: