A 50-year-old man has appeared in court after the disappearance of his County Durham partner and said "I haven't murdered anybody".
Adrian Muir appeared at Consett Magistrates' Court charged with murdering 55-year-old Pamela Jackson between March 2 and March 8 in Chester-le-Street.
A team of 40 officers are still searching for Mrs Jackson, who was reported missing by one of her three sons on Thursday.
When the clerk read out the charge, Muir, in a blue sweatshirt and with his hands clasped behind his back, replied from behind the glass dock: "I haven't murdered anybody."
No formal pleas were entered and he was remanded in custody to appear before a judge at Newcastle Crown Court on Wednesday.
Muir, from Halifax in West Yorkshire, had no fixed address, the court heard.
Pamela, also known as Cris or Crissie, does not drive and does not work due to health issues.
- 5 feet tall
- Slim build
- Very long black hair - usually straightened
- Black rose tattoo on her upper right arm
- Large Celtic-style letters on her upper left arm
- Usually wears vintage-style clothing with rings and costume jewellery
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Robert Hodgson, from Stanley, County Durham, committed the offences on the girls, aged as young as five or six, up to the age of 13.