Helen Bailey murder: Author's body took two days to recover
Experts spent two days recovering a children's author from a cesspit where her body was dumped, a court has heard.
Electra Brown writer Helen Bailey, 51, was found beneath the garage at her home in Royston, Hertfordshire, in July.
Only Ms Bailey's elbow was visible when police first looked inside the deep well underneath her mansion, jurors at St Albans Crown Court heard.
Her fiance Ian Stewart, 56, denies murdering her.
Mr Stewart reported Ms Bailey missing three days after she was last seen alive on 11 April.
In July, three months after she vanished, her body, together with that of her dog, was found in the septic tank at her home.
Jurors were shown images of Ms Bailey's elbow, which was encased in a "hard crust" of excrement inside the tank.
Det Ch Insp Jerome Kent, one of the officers who found Ms Bailey's body, told the court: "I'm embarrassed to say it took me some convincing to work out what I was looking at.
"What I was faced with was a dry, hard crust of what I now know was more than mud.
"There was a small, very pale white object in that, which I now know was part of Helen's elbow."
The jury were not shown more graphic pictures of Ms Bailey's remains being removed from the pit.
Mr Stewart is accused of plying Northumberland-born Ms Bailey with sedatives over a number of weeks before before suffocating her and dumping her body in the Victorian well.
He killed her for her money, prosecutors have said.
Earlier in the trial, the jury was told he tried to divert a police search away from the garage which housed the well.
Mr Stewart denies murder, preventing a lawful burial, fraud and three counts of perverting the course of justice.
The trial continues.
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