UK & World News
Tia Sharp: Body Was Found In Black Bag
Stuart Hazell, the man charged with the murder of 12-year-old Tia Sharp, has appeared in court on the day it emerged the schoolgirl's body was found wrapped in a bedsheet inside a black bag.
The 37-year-old accused of the murder is the boyfriend of Tia's grandmother.
He appeared via videolink at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court in south London on Monday and was remanded in custody and is due to appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.
The magistrates' hearing came as it was revealed that Tia's body was found in the loft of the house that Hazell shared with the girl's grandmother, Christine Sharp, in Croydon.
Her body, which has not yet been formally identified, was discovered on Friday. Tia was first reported missing on August 3, sparking a mass search operation.
Ms Sharp, 46, has been released on bail following her arrest on suspicion of murder.
In court, Hazell sounded emotional as he spoke from a room in Sutton police station to confirm his name and date of birth.
His voice cracked when he was asked to confirm his address, The Lindens, New Addington, south London, where Tia was found dead.
No plea was entered to the charge and no relatives appeared at court.
A bail application may be made on Wednesday and a further date for a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey has been scheduled for November 19. He is being held in Belmarsh Prison.
The couple's next-door neighbour has also been released on bail pending further inquiries. Paul Meehan, 39, was held on suspicion of assisting an offender.
After Tia was reported missing 10 days ago, a massive search was launched involving more than 80 police officers, along with members of the local community.
Despite searching the grandmother's terraced property four times, police only found the body on Friday.
Hazell, who was previously interviewed as a potential witness, was arrested hours later in Merton, south London.
Officers have apologised to Tia's mother, Natalie Sharp, for the delay in finding her body and conceded mistakes were made.
Tia's mother wept on Sunday as she left a tribute to her daughter alongside hundreds of flowers, teddy bears, candles and cards which carpet the pavement near her grandmother's home.
A note believed to have been left by Ms Sharp, 30, read: "Our baby girl, we love you very much and always will.
"Sorry baby that this has happened, I wish I was there to protect you. We know you are safe now and you are at home with us everywhere we go. Love you, mum, dad, Jack and Harry. XXX."
It remains unclear how Tia died. A post-mortem examination on the body was paused on Saturday night and is expected to recommence this week.