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Boyfriend charged with murdering Epping woman faces eight-month court wait

The boyfriend of a woman whose remains were found at a tip on Melbourne’s northern fringe must remain in custody another eight months as he waits the hearing that will determine whether he stands trial.

Joon Seong Tan faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, via a video link from custody, charged with murdering Ju Zhang, whose remains were found at a landfill site in Wollert last month after days of searching by police.

Ju Zhang was last seen on February 1 at her Epping home.

Ju Zhang was last seen on February 1 at her Epping home. Credit:Victoria Police

Police allege Mr Tan murdered Ms Zhang, also known as Kelly, on February 1, the day before she was reported missing.

Mr Tan, 36, is yet to enter a plea but is expected to fight the charge and is listed to appear in a five-day committal hearing that will determine whether there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.

However, the hearing won’t begin until March 21 because of witnesses and lawyers being unavailable at times over the coming months and a limit on the court’s slots for a five-day committal hearing.

Prosecutor Anne-Marie Stephanides said investigators were still awaiting an autopsy report and it was likely more statements would be added to the brief of evidence.

Police search a tip in Wollert in June during the investigation into Ju Zhang’s disappearance.

Police search a tip in Wollert in June during the investigation into Ju Zhang’s disappearance.Credit:Nine News

Magistrate Andrew Capell scheduled next year’s hearing to be held in a courtroom rather than online given Mr Tan and some witnesses required interpreters.

Ms Zhang was last seen on February 1 wearing a pink nightgown at the Epping home she shared with her son.

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