Sarah Everard’s body was found in a large construction bag and identified from dental files, a court heard.
Wayne Couzens, 48, a Metropolitan Police officer, is accused of kidnapping and murdering the 33-year-old marketing director who went missing on March 3rd on his way home from a friend’s apartment in south London.
Her body was found hidden in a wooded area in Ashford, Kent on Wednesday.
Couzens appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday morning for his first appearance after his arrest on Tuesday.
The defendant arrived at the central London court in a large blue police car at 10 a.m. and entered the dock at around 10:30 a.m.
He was wearing a gray tracksuit and appeared to have a red sore on his forehead.
Couzens only spoke to confirm his name and personal information. He sat in the dock between two plainclothes officers, leaning forward for most of the hearing.
Chief Justice Paul Goldspring asked Prosecutor Zoe Martin to provide a brief summary “given the nature of the case and the interest.”
The court heard that the officer was charged with kidnapping Ms. Everard on Poynders Road in Clapham.
Ms. Martin said Ms. Everard was reported missing by her boyfriend on March 4, and a body discovered on March 10 in a wooded area of Ashford, Kent, was officially identified as a missing woman from dental records.
An autopsy took place, but no cause of death was given in court.
Prosecutors said Ms. Everard visited a friend in the Clapham Junction area on March 3 and left at around 9 p.m. to make the 4 km journey home.
She called her boyfriend for about 14 minutes and the court heard that there has been no further activity on her cell phone since then, adding that the phone has not yet been restored.
It is not clear whether the phone is turned off or the battery is dead, she added.
Ms. Everard was caught alone in video surveillance at a quarter past nine, caught again in front of a camera at 9:28 p.m. and later in front of the camera of a tagged police car at 9:32 p.m.
At around 9:35 p.m., a bus camera captured two figures on Poynders Road and a white Vauxhall Astra with flashing hazard lights.
Another bus camera captured the same car with both front doors open.
The registration of the vehicle – later confirmed to be a car rented in Dover – was captured and tracked by police as it left London for Kent.
Judge Goldspring put Couzens on remand to appear at the Old Bailey on March 16.
The city police previously said Couzens joined the force in 2018 and most recently served in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, an armed unit responsible for guarding the Parliament property and embassies in London.
His main job was the uniformed patrol of diplomatic buildings and Scotland Yard said he was off duty at the time of Ms. Everard’s disappearance.
On Saturday the court heard that Couzens is a trained firearms officer.
At 7:00 p.m. on March 2, he started a 12-hour shift before going on vacation.
He was supposed to go back to work on March 8th, but on March 5th he reported that he was suffering from stress.
On March 6th, he emailed his supervisor that he no longer wanted to carry a firearm.
Prior to appearing in court, Scotland Yard said Couzens of Deal in Kent was hospitalized for the second time in 48 hours on Friday to treat another custody head injury before being released and taken back to a police station.
He had previously been hospitalized on Thursday for a separate head wound that he had also taken into custody when he was alone in his cell.
Meanwhile, it was found that police in dry suits continued to search the area where Ms. Everard’s body was found near Ashford on Saturday.