The Bay of Plenty man accused of murdering a two-year-old girl has denied the charge.
The 32-year-old appeared in the High Court at Rotorua this morning, where he pleaded not guilty to one count of murder.
The accused was charged following an investigation into the death of Arnica Savage.
Police were called to the Matahina Dam area following the report of a two-year-old child missing in the Rangitaiki River around 6pm on Sunday.
"An extensive Search and Rescue operation was commenced, with the body of the child being located in the river at about 11pm."
The man was taken into police custody and a murder charged was laid on Monday.
During his appearance in court, the judge continued name suppression for the accused.
He will appear for a case review hearing on September 5.