JOHN DOUGLAS Bowie denies murdering his wife Roxlyn Bowie more than 37 years in ago in Walgett, the accused killer's lawyer says.
On Sunday the 69-year-old retired ambulance driver faced Parramatta Bail Court charged with the murder of Ms Bowie, who was 31 when she vanished from her home on June 5 in 1982.
Mr Bowie did not apply for bail at court and it was formally refused.
His lawyer Sam Karnib told reporters the murder allegation would be contested and that Mr Bowie denied killing his former wife.
Bowie is next scheduled to appear before Central Local Court in Sydney on December 2.
He is likely to make a bail application when he next appears in court.
Mr Bowie was arrested at Queensland's Woodford Correctional Centre on Friday and extradited to NSW on Saturday morning.
Investigators escorted Bowie on a flight to Sydney on Saturday, when he landed he was swarmed by reporters at the airport.
Bowie told the crowd the arrest had been a huge shock to him.
"How do you expect I'm supposed to feel 'aye?" he said.
Asked if he had a message for the person who killed his wife, Bowie said, "I don't even know if she's dead or not."
Police then took him to Surry Hills Police Station where he was charged with murder.
A coroner in 2014 found Ms Bowie was dead but couldn't determine the cause of death or the location of her body. A $1 million reward for information leading to the discovery of Ms Bowie remains in place.
Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said personal items uncovered during a 2018 forensic search for Ms Bowie near a Walgett home would play a role in the prosecution.
In a separate search in April, police found a silver ring with the letter "R" and black and gold packaging for a Swann-Morton surgical blade.
The Robbery and Serious Crime Squad commenced a renewed investigation into her suspicious disappearance under Strike Force Maluka.
Police received a tip-off late last year and returned to Walgett to to dredge a dam on the outskirts of town, however nothing was found.
Police have declined to outline a motive for Bowie's alleged actions, saying it would be revealed in court proceedings.
- With Angelo Risso