A 50-year-old man appeared in court today after the disappearance of his partner and said “I haven’t murdered anybody”.
Adrian Muir was at Consett Magistrates’ Court, County Durham, charged with murdering grandmother Pamela Jackson, 55, between March 2 and March 8 in Chester-le-Street.
A team of 40 officers were still searching for Mrs Jackson, who was reported missing by one of her three grown-up sons, Joe, 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, who police said was from Calder Terrace, Halifax, West Yorkshire, had no fixed address, the court heard.
Mrs Jackson, who is also known as Cris or Crissie, does not drive and does not work due to health issues.
She is described as petite and is 5ft, slim, with very long black hair which is usually straight.
She has a black rose tattoo to the upper right arm and large Celtic-style letters to the upper left arm. She usually wears what is described as vintage-style clothing with rings and costume jewellery.
Later, police said more than 50 officers and specialist staff were searching for Mrs Jackson.
She has not been seen since the evening of Saturday March 2.
Durham Police said the alarm was raised by her son who shares her three-bedroom, semi-detached house in The Crescent.
Originally from Newcastle, Mrs Jackson moved to the Chester-le-Street area around 12 years ago.
As well as Joe she has two other sons - Christopher who lives with his family in Spennymoor and Andrew who lives in Consett.
Supt Graham Hall, who is leading the missing persons side of the investigation, said although police and family were becoming increasingly concerned for Mrs Jackson as each day passes, they had to remain optimistic she could still be found alive.
“One of the key actions for us is to piece together a picture of Pamela’s lifestyle to help focus our search efforts,” he said.
“From what we have learned so far, she appears to be someone who rarely goes far from home and contacts people online a great deal.
“She tends to spend a large part of her day on Facebook or taking part in online games, although she is also known to be a regular visitor to Chester-le-Street market on Saturdays.”
There will be considerable police activity over the next few days in and around the house, as crime scene investigators carry out a detailed examination of the property.
Anyone with information should contact the incident room by calling 101, or they can ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.