The man accused of the murder and abduction of five-year-old April Jones has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him - but his lawyer says he "probably killed" the missing child.
Mark Bridger, 47, pleaded not guilty to murder, abduction, unlawfully disposing of and concealing her body with intent to pervert the course of justice.
However Bridger's lawyer told the court his case is predicated on him "conceding that he probably killed the child".
The hearing at Mold crown court was attended by the parents of the five-year-old girl, Coral and Paul Jones.
April was last seen playing on her bike near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth, north Wales on 1 October.
Bridger, from Ceinws, near Machynlleth, was arrested the following day. He will stand trial on 25 February.
Last month, April's mother posted a Facebook message in which she said she believed her daughter was still alive.
It said: "It's so hard, you not here, running around asking how long before Father Christmas is coming. And you trying to open your presents and trying to help us wrap presents for family and friends.
"Please come home."
She said how she missed April "like hell" and wanted her daughter home in time for her 41st birthday later this month.
Dyfed-Powys Police continued their search for April on 7 January after a two-week break over the Christmas period. Her disappearance sparked one of the largest search operations in UK history, and involved hundreds of volunteers alongside the police and professional search teams.
The force said there 16 search teams were involved.