The body of 12-year-old Tia Sharp was found wrapped in bed sheets in the home of her grandmother, it has emerged.
Stuart Hazell, 37, appeared via video link at Camberwell Green magistrates court in south London charged with the murder of the schoolgirl, who was last seen in the New Addington home he shares with her grandmother, Christine Sharp.
In a brief hearing, Hazell was asked whether he understood the charge. He replied: "Yes I do." Hazell, whose voice seemed to crack with emotion as he confirmed his address while speaking from a police station, did not enter a plea.
Police pursued Hazell, who was understood to be the last person to see Tia alive, after finding the girls' remains in the loft of his home, wrapped in black sheets and in a black bag, on the fourth search of the home.
Tia was reported missing on 3 August. It took eight days to find her body.
Christine Sharp, 46, was arrested on suspicion of murder, and neighbour Paul Meehan, 39, was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. They were both released on bail.
The discovery of Tia's body in the property in which she was last seen, led to criticism of the police. Scotland Yard blamed "human error" and apologised for the distress and concern caused by the delay.