Deborah Mee Kuen Chong was found dead in Salcombe, Devon (Image: @MPSBrent / SWNS)
Get email updates with the day’s biggest stories
Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.Sign upWe use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time.More infoThank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice
A woman accused of murdering a pensioner and then dumping her decapitated body 250miles away in Devon has been pictured for the first time.
Jemma Mitchell, 36, of Brondesbury Park, Brent, north-west London, has been charged with the murder of Mee Kuen Chong, 67, who was reported missing from her home in Wembley, north London, on June 11.
The body of Mee, who was known to friends as Deborah, was found in woodland near the Devon town of Salcombe on June 27.
An initial post-mortem examination has failed to establish the cause of her death.
Mitchell, 36, was charged with her murder at the Old Bailey.
On Tuesday, Mitchell appeared before Judge Mark Lucraft QC at the Old Bailey by video link from Bronzefield prison.
Jemma Mitchell, 36, has been accused of beheading 67-year-old Mee Kuen Chong before dumping her in woodland
(Image: Jonathan Goldberg)
She spoke only to confirm her name and date of birth.
The court heard Mitchell was accused of carrying out a particularly violent murder involving the victim being decapitated and her body transferred 250 miles to the area of Devon where it was eventually found.
Judge Lucraft set a plea hearing for September 28 and remanded the defendant into custody.
Mrs Chong was originally from Malaysia and had lived in Wembley for more than 30 years.
Her death was initially treated as unexplained, with the investigation originally led by Devon and Cornwall Police.
But at the beginning of July inquiries by the force in south Devon and the London area led to a murder investigation being launched by the Metropolitan Police’s specialist crime command.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who is leading the murder investigation, said at the time: “The discovery of Mee’s body is a tragic development and my thoughts are with her family and friends.
Mrs Chong was found beheaded in woodland
“At this stage, we are working on establishing the full circumstances surrounding Mee’s death and in particular her movements.
“I would ask anyone who saw her between Thursday June 10 and Sunday June 27, either in London or Devon, who has not yet spoken to police, to please come forward.
“It is absolutely vital that anyone who may have information about Mee’s movements over this period share what they know to help us fully understand what happened to her.”
Neighbours of Mrs Chong have described her as very religious, pleasant and friendly. But they said she was considered vulnerable.
A local resident, who did not want to be identified, told the Harrow Times: “We knew her well. She's a member of a church, very religious."
He added that residents were aware she had disappeared: “We were shocked to find out she was dead.
"She's an old lady, it's not the best time to be on your own out there with the pandemic, et cetera.”
He added that he considered her to be a “vulnerable person” due to her age and concerns with her mental wellbeing.
Her family was updated about the investigation and were being supported by specially trained officers, police said.