The 39-year-old Newfoundland man suspected of killing his common-law-partner and mother of his infant son made a court appearance Tuesday, facing charges of second-degree murder and committing an indignity to a dead body.

David Folker has been remanded into custody until Sept. 28, when he is expected to make another appearance at a St. John's provincial court in connection with the death of Ann Marie Shirran.

Folker's mother, Marilyn Anthony, was also in the courtroom, toting a suitcase and weeping openly. She later told reporters that she had just arrived from Nova Scotia.

"He didn't do it and we'll prove it," she told The Canadian Press while fighting back tears.

Those sitting in the courtroom Tuesday saw the suspect shake his head as he was led away from the proceeding. However, he looked down when he was marched past reporters and television cameras.

Folker, who otherwise appeared subdued during his three-minute court appearance, was arrested Monday, about a week after campers found the 32-year-old woman's body in a wooded area in Cappahayden. The small town is located about 100 kilometres south of St. John's.

Shirran, who friends have described as a talented and outspoken woman, went missing July 18 after she went for a walk near her Kilbride, N.L. home. Her disappearance sparked a massive search in the close-knit community.

NTV's Pam Parsons reported Tuesday evening that the couple had lived in Kilbride for about six months. Prior to that, they had lived on Newfoundland's west coast, and before that in Nova Scotia.

Police said Folker was the one who reported Shirran missing.

"She was actually reported missing on the 19th, approximately 22 hours after she had allegedly left her home," Const. Suzanne Fitzgerald, of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, told reporters.

Fitzgerald said forensic anthropologists from Memorial University have been brought in to assist the chief medical examiner and Newfoundland police with the investigation. On Tuesday, investigators were still conducting grid searches of the site where Shirran's body was found, looking for evidence.

Fitzgerald would not elaborate on what led to the charge of committing an indignity to a dead body "out of direct respect for the family."