A MAN has appeared in court charged with murdering missing 19-year-old Hazel North and hiding her body in a park.
John Davis, 25, is accused of assaulting and murdering Hazel, by means unknown, at his flat in Northcraig Road, in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire between 28 February and 23 March.
He also allegedly assaulted Ms North by striking her on the head and body and injuring her at his home on 2 February.
Davis is further charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice by concealing her body in Dean Park, Kilmarnock, and failing to report the death to the authorities.
Appearing at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court yesterday, Davis was also charged with assaulting police sergeant Thomas Brown, to his severe injury.
Solicitor, Michael Kilkerr, said Davis made no plea nor declaration during the brief, private appearance.
Davis was remanded in custody by Sheriff Alistair Watson for further investigation. He is expected to make a second court appearance next Tuesday.
Ms North had not been seen for nearly three weeks. Her last contact with her family was on 4 March, when she spoke to her sister.
Police said that she had told her sister that she was travelling to Kilmarnock to meet a friend.
After she was reported missing, police initially focused their search on an address in Kilmarnock. Forensic officers searched the property, digging up the back garden and looking under slabs, while door-to-door inquiries were carried out in the surrounding area.
Officers investigating the teenager’s disappearance also made a public appeal for information, which resulted in the report of a possible sighting of Ms North in Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, on 18 March.
She was reported to have been seen in the company of another woman of similar height and of medium build with short, dark hair in a bob style.
Last Saturday Ms North’s brother, Michael, 25, and sister, Carine, 24, urged people to help in the search, posting a message on Facebook that read: “Hi everybody, Just a quick note to say thanks to everybody for their support in spreading the word to find our little sister.
“Please continue to share posts to aid the search and get everybody looking so we can have her back to the family who love her loads.”
The teenager had attended Stranraer Academy before moving to Dunfermline several years ago with her father Graham and her siblings. Her mother Rosina still lives in the west coast town.
In January, Ms North had told friends on Facebook: “2014 looks like it’s gonna be my year. Love life at the moment, got everything I want and need!”
At the weekend, the search for Ms North moved to Kilmarnock’s Dean Castle Country Park. Her remains were discovered there on Sunday after forensic officers had dug up several areas.
The body was taken to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow for a post-mortem examination.
Chief Superintendent Gillian MacDonald, from Police Scotland’s Ayrshire division, said at the time: “Officers have carried out a detailed search and excavation of an area within Dean Park and the body of a young woman has been found.
“We believe this to be Hazel North. Hazel’s family has been advised of this and officers are supporting them at this difficult time.”