The next-door neighbour of landscape architect Joanna Yeates today admitted killing her but denied murder.
Miss Yeates's parents David and Theresa were at the Old Bailey in London today as Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak pleaded guilty to her manslaughter.
The charge states that Tabak "unlawfully killed" the 25-year-old between December 16 and December 19.
But the 33-year-old pleaded not guilty to an allegation of murder and was remanded in custody to face trial at Bristol Crown Court on October 4.
Miss Yeates, who lived in Clifton, Bristol, disappeared on December 17 after going for Christmas drinks with colleagues.
Her frozen body was found dumped on a verge in a lane in Failand, north Somerset, on Christmas Day.
Tabak, wearing a dark suit and glasses, with a dark tie, appeared in court today via videolink from Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire.
He spoke to confirm his name and to say he was content for proceedings to continue in English without an interpreter before entering his pleas.
During the hearing he sat at a desk, occasionally using a piece of paper to make notes and sipping from a cup.
His trial is expected to last four weeks.
Detective Chief Inspector Phillip Jones said: "The not guilty plea to Joanna Yeates murder entered by Vincent Tabak today at the Old Bailey means that there will be a full trial in due course.
"Tabak has entered a plea to manslaughter however this has not been accepted by the Crown.
"Until this trial takes place it would be inappropriate and potentially prejudicial for us to comment further."