The former lifeguard accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones has appeared in court via a video link.
Mark Bridger confirmed his name and that he could hear the proceedings when he appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court, North Wales.
Bearded Bridger, who was wearing thin-rimmed glasses and a black jumper and sat in front of a grey curtain, is accused of abducting and murdering April, and of unlawfully disposing of and concealing of her body with intent to pervert the course of justice.
During the hearing, which lasted around 20 minutes, Bridger answered the clerk's questions by responding: "Yes ma'am."
The prosecution had been given notice of Bridger's "likely defence" which had been taken in interviews, the court was told.
Mr Justice Griffith-Williams also said any decision about where any future trial would be held would be made after consultation with the victim's family. The court heard that some of the witnesses in the case are as young as seven years old.
The 46-year-old, of Mount Pleasant farmhouse in the village of Ceinws, near Machynlleth, leaned forward at one point, as he appeared to be struggling to hear.
The case was adjourned until January 11 while investigations continue, the court was told.
Bridger was remanded into custody and no application for bail was made. When asked by the judge if he understood what was happening, the defendant responded: "Yes sir."
Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting, said forensic and other "extensive investigations" were continuing "apace" and the judge agreed that "matters may develop". But Mr Justice Griffith-Williams said it was his intention to try the case "at the earliest possible date".