The partner of missing novelist Helen Bailey has appeared in court charged with her murder. Ian Stewart, 55, was held by Hertfordshire Police when the body of the 51-year-old children’s author was found in the garden of her home in Royston on Friday.
Police said Stewart, of Baldock Road in Royston, has also been charged with perverting the course of justice by reporting Ms Bailey as missing and hiding her body, and preventing a lawful burial.
He appeared before Hatfield Remand Court on Saturday morning and will remain in custody until his next appearance, at St Albans Crown Court on Monday.
A post-mortem examination is due to take place on Monday while specialist searches at her home continue.
Ms Bailey was last seen several weeks after the fifth anniversary of the death of her husband, John Sinfield, who drowned on a holiday in Barbados in February 2011.
In a statement, Ms Bailey’s family said: “We share with Helen’s friends, neighbours and fans our shock, disbelief and sadness at the news of her tragic death.
“As a family we also stand in solidarity with those around the world who have also suffered loss under tragic circumstances.
“Helen was immensely witty and talented. We love her deeply and are immensely proud of her achievements. She is now at peace and we shall all miss her terribly.
“We wish to express our gratitude to the police as well as all those who supported us in the search for Helen in whatever way they could.
“In life, Helen was a very just person and we know that she would now wish, like us, for justice to be done.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Fullwood, confirmed the body of Ms Bailey’s dog, Boris, was also discovered within the grounds.
He said: “The searches, which resulted in the discovery, have been painstaking and more work will need to take place in the coming days.
“Specialist officers are continuing to support Helen’s family at this extremely difficult time.”
Detectives made the discovery in the grounds of Ms Bailey’s sprawling £1.3 million seven-bedroom home, three months after she was last seen walking her miniature Dachshund.
Stewart was re-arrested on suspicion of murder on Friday, having previously been arrested on Monday, when specialist teams began searching the property, Hertfordshire Police said.
The 51-year-old Ms Bailey was well known for her character-based novels, including the coming-of-age series featuring lead character Electra Brown, and the subsequent Daisy Davenport novel aimed at slightly older readers. She also set up a blog, Planet Grief, about having become a widow.
In April, following her disappearance, extensive searches were carried out at Ms Bailey’s holiday home in Broadstairs, Kent, where friends originally said they believed the author might have gone in order to have ”some time to herself”.
In a note issued in the wake of Ms Bailey’s apparent disappearance, Stewart said: “Helen wherever you might be I hope you hear this message and listen carefully. We miss you and Boris so much. We are shattered in so many ways.
“You bring so much to so many people in ways you don’t even realise.
“Whatever has happened, wherever you are I will come and get you and Boris and give you whatever you need.”