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Blessie Gotingco murder-accused in court

SIMON DAY AND MARIKA HILL
Last updated 11:18 28/05/2014
SEAN WILLIS/Stuff.co.nz

A man has been arrested and charged with murder in the disappearance of Auckland woman Blesilda "Blessie" Gotingco.

Blessie
CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Police forensics at Birkdale cemetery where a body was discovered during the investigation into the disappearance of Blesilda Gotingco.
Blesilda Gotingco
Supplied
MISSING: Blesilda Gotingco.

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A 27-year-old man has appeared in the North Shore District Court charged with the murder of Auckland mother Blesilda "Blessie" Gotingco.

Judge Pippa​ Sinclair granted him interim name suppression for fair trial considerations.

A large crowd of media packed the gallery as the accused made his first court appearance since being arrested early yesterday morning.

The accused appeared distressed and faced away from the media and the gallery, often staring at the roof. He was dressed in a police-issue blue jumpsuit.

No bail application was made and he was remanded in custody.

He will next appear in the High Court on 18 June.

It is understood he was already known to authorities.

The court appearance follows a police search of his Birkdale, Auckland, apartment and the seizure of a car at the property yesterday.

Gotingco, 56, went missing on Saturday night after catching a bus home from her work in the city centre.

An autopsy of a woman's body found at Eskdale Cemetery is due to be carried out this morning. Police believe the body is that of Gotingco.

They will continue their search today of the man's apartment.

Neighbour Wendy Drake said a repair company had fixed the windscreen of a car at the property on Monday.

Yesterday morning, police raided the man's home and took away the old, grey BMW.

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