National

SA man denies wife’s death was murder

By AAP Newswire

A South Australian man accused of murdering his wife at their Yorke Peninsula home in 1973 has offered to plead guilty to manslaughter.

Geoffrey Adams came before Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday and entered a not guilty plea to the murder of his wife Colleen, who went missing from their Maitland home 45 years ago.

But Adams told the court he was prepared to plead guilty to her manslaughter, an admission not accepted by the director of public prosecutions.

He will remain in custody and return to court in July.

The skeletal remains of Mrs Adams were found under a concrete slab last year.

At earlier court hearings it was revealed Adams had provided police with 11 hours of interviews which were described as the "core piece of evidence".

The court also heard that the examination of the remains of Mrs Adams was not a "straightforward autopsy" as forensic scientists were dealing with a "fragmented" skeleton.

The remains were found after detectives were directed to dig in a particular area.

They had gone back to the home after renewed inquires, confident of making a breakthrough in the case.

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

According to 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.

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

After the discovery of her body, her youngest daughter Kaye visited the site and delivered a statement to the media through a victim contact officer.

"Today I have finally found my mother," the statement said.

"After 45 years of hoping, we have found her.

"It's hard to say in a few words what I am feeling, but I am so grateful to the South Australian police and everyone who has worked to help find her."