A teenager has denied the rape and murder of Keeley Bunker, 20, who was found dead in a stream three months ago.
Ms Bunker’s remains were discovered near woodland at Wigginton Park in Tamworth, Staffs, at around 9pm on September 19.
Friends and family had organised a search for Keeley who failed to return home after watching a concert by rapper Aitch at the O2 Arena in Birmingham the night before.
Today Wesley Street, 19, of no fixed address, appeared in court charged with murder and rape at Stafford Crown Court.
Wearing a dark blue sweater, Streete remained emotionless in the dock and spoke only to plead not guilty to both charges.
The public gallery was packed with family and friends of Keeley who remained silent as details of her death emerged during the 45-minute hearing.
Judge Michael Chambers QC set a provisional trial date of July 13 and remanded Streete in custody as he adjourned the case.
He told Streete: “Your case is being adjourned further as I have heard it’s no longer possible to try this matter in March. The likelihood is it will be tried on July 13.
“I am required to warn you if you choose not to attend your trial, it may happen in your absence and you may be unrepresented.”
The popular young barmaid’s death sent shockwaves through her local community this year.
Hundreds of people gathered to bid an emotional farewell to Keeley at her funeral in October as her hometown was decked out in pink ribbons.
Her coffin was escorted through the streets of Tamworth in a white horse-drawn carriage draped in pink and white flowers, feathers and bows
Her family said in a statement ahead of the service: “Keeley was a bright, caring, beautiful girl who touched the hearts of the people closest to her.
“We would like to extend our deepest thanks to the countless well wishes & sympathies we have received and of course the efforts that have been made in numerous events, including coloring our town pink.”
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