The partner of Auckland woman Cissy Chen appeared in court today charged with her murder.
The arrest of 57-year-old Yun "Jack" Qing Liu comes two weeks after his partner's bones were found not far from their home on the North Shore.
Liu appeared in North Shore District Court this afternoon, assisted by a Mandarin interpreter.
His lawyer did not request name or image suppression, nor did he make a bail application.
However, he indicated to Judge Roy Wade that one would be made before his next appearance in the Auckland High Court on April 30.
Chen's brothers were in court for the brief hearing, accompanied by police officers.
"It's hard to describe the pain we've been through. This has been very difficult for our father, a 79-year-old man,'' said brother Philip Chen.
"As brothers and sisters we've always had a strong bond and losing our only sister is really hard for us to accept, and even now we are quite lost at times."
Another brother said his sister had loved New Zealand and because of that she would be buried on the North Shore rather than taken back to China.
Chen, a 44-year-old accountant, disappeared on November 5, 2012, after leaving the Torbay home she shared with her partner Yun "Jack" Qing Liu.
Liu reported her missing about 9.30pm that night and told police Chen had not returned from a regular walk along Long Bay Beach.
Extensive searches found no sign of Chen until her bones were found in a creek on Auckland's North Shore last month.
Detective Inspector Bruce Scott said at the time that Chen's skull and ribcage were found against a grate at the eastern end of the creek.
She was identified through forensic dentistry.
The rest of her skeleton was found upstream, next to a property across the road.
The stream is fed by a pond in nearby Rewi Alley Reserve and meanders through Trias Reserve before crossing under Totaravale Drive into Totaravale Reserve.
Earlier this month police said they believed Chen was killed elsewhere despite her bones being found in the creek, an 11-kilometre drive from where she lived in Torbay.