Seven-year-old Nikki Allan vanished on Wednesday, October 7, 1992 after leaving her grandparents' flat in Wear Garth, Sunderland.
The next morning, Nikki's school shoes were found a few hundred yards away outside of the Old Exchange building.
Her body was discovered lying in a pool of blood inside the derelict building by a neighbour who was helping the police with their search for the missing youngster. She had been stabbed 37 times.
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David Boyd, of Chesterton Court, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on the morning of Monday, June 20, where he faced a charge of murder.
The 54-year-old appeared via video link to prison, wearing a blue sweatshirt and mask. He pleaded not guilty to the offence during the short, 25-minute hearing.
A trial had originally been listed to start on January 11 next year but the court heard it may now be put back until April 19. Any trial could last up to six weeks.
Boyd was remanded in custody in the meantime.
Judge Paul Sloan QC informed the court that a further pre-trial hearing will now take place on Monday, November 7.
The judge told Boyd: "I am adjourning your case to trial. The precise trial date will be confirmed, hopefully in the next few days.
"There will be at least one further pre-trial hearing before the trial date.
"In due course you will be required to provide a defence statement, setting out in detail your defence to the charge you face."
Nikki’s mother Sharon Henderson sat in the public gallery for the hearing, backed by well-wishers.
She burst into tears when the charge was read out, was consoled by supporters and the court usher gave her a tissue.
After Boyd was charged, Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable David Felton said: “This is an extremely tragic case and our thoughts very much continue to be with the family and friends of Nikki Allan.
“A significant investigation has been ongoing ever since Nikki’s death 30 years ago.
“As with any unsolved cases of this nature, they are never closed. Our dedicated teams constantly review the evidence and follow any new investigative leads that may come to light.”