The London churchyard mystery: remains of wealthy pensioner missing since 2021 found


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Detectives looking for the remains of a 70-year-old lady who went missing more than a year ago discovered her bones in a graveyard.

Norma Girolami, 70, of Highgate, was last seen alive in mid-August 2021, when she vanished from her £900,000 tree-lined street house.

She had just returned from a vacation to the beach when she went missing, prompting the commencement of a murder inquiry in October 2021. Serkan Kaygusuz, 42, of Islington, was charged with her murder and remanded in jail the following month; his trial is scheduled for February 6, 2023.

The Metropolitan Police stated on Friday afternoon that they had located her remains after investigating the grounds of St Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in North Finchley, Barnet, barely four miles from her house.

It is unknown whether she was discovered in a grave, and officials have declined to provide any other information owing to the ongoing investigation. Her remains will be forensically examined, and her family has been contacted, according to the police.

Det Chief Insp Kate Blackburn expressed “relief” that Ms Girolami’s corpse had been discovered, but her team was still looking for information regarding what happened to her.

Ms Girolami enjoyed visiting the beach resort of Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, according to the Met, and made a trip there on Thursday, August 19, 2021. She caught the train from Barking to London and returned later that day. Ms Girolami’s correspondence ceased that evening.

She departed without saying goodbye to her loved ones, and there was food in her refrigerator.

Before locating her death in the graveyard, police had investigated many houses.

Ms Blackburn stated that the inquiry into her disappearance was ongoing and encouraged anyone with information to contact authorities.

Despite understanding that Norma was no longer living, I know that her family is terribly touched by the news that her remains have been discovered, she stated. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

After more than a year of looking for Norma, my team is relieved to have discovered her remains, which will be sent to forensic analysis in due time.

“Despite this revelation, I am still extremely interested in hearing from anyone who knew Norma, either in London or in Leigh-on-Sea, who can offer information on anything that was going on in her life in August last year.

I’m also looking for anyone who spotted anything suspicious at the Friern Barnet Lane graveyard in N20 between August and October of last year.

Norma’s family and friends have been left in the dark for a year, and our inquiry is still underway.

Please contact us if you have any information, no matter how little it may appear.


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