The remains have been formally identified as being that of Norma Girolami and her family has been notified by detectives.
Norma Girolami was last seen in mid-August 2021 and following police enquiries, a murder investigation was launched in October 2021.
Norma lived in the Highgate area of London and regularly traveled to Brent Cross to do her shopping using public transport to make her way there. She was also a member at Archway Leisure Centre.
She liked to visit Leigh-on-Sea and made a trip there on Thursday, 19 August 2021. She took the train from Barking and returned to London later that day.
All communication from Norma stopped that evening.
Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn said: “Despite accepting that Norma was no longer alive, I know that her family are deeply affected by the news that her remains have been found. Our thoughts are very much with them.
“My team has spent more than a year searching for Norma and there is a sense of relief that we have found her remains which will undergo forensic examination in due course.
“Despite this discovery, I would still be very keen to hear from anyone who knew Norma, either in London or at Leigh on Sea who can provide information on anything that was happening in her life in August last year. I am also appealing for anyone who saw any activity around the Churchyard in Firern Barnet Lane, N20 between August and October last year.
“Norma’s family and friends have endured a year of not knowing what had happened to her and our investigation remains ongoing. If you have any information, no matter how small a detail it may seem, please do get in touch.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Tweet @MetCC. All information is treated in the strictest confidence.
If you prefer not to speak with police, to remain 100% anonymous call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit Crimestoppers-uk.org.