WAYNESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A Wayne County husband and wife have pleaded not guilty to murder in the disappearance of their son’s fiance and the mother of their grandchild.

Steven Ray Beersdorf Sr. and Sylvia Beersdorf were arraigned Tuesday in Waynesboro on charges of first-degree murder of 21-year-old Rosemary Goggins.

The Times-Daily of Florence, Ala., reported Steven Beersdorf waived his right to a preliminary hearing. One for his wife was scheduled for Thursday.

The couple’s son — Steven Beersdorf Jr. — is a member of the Tennessee National Guard and is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq. Goggins had been living with the elder Beersdorfs along with her 11-month-old son at their home near Clifton while the Guardsman was training at Camp Shelby, Miss.

Investigators say there had been friction between Goggins and her future in-laws for some time. They have suggested the couple may have been afraid Goggins would take the baby away and keep them from seeing him.

The burned remains of Goggins’ car were found Friday on an isolated logging road in McNairy County. A GPS unit indicated the car had been driven there from the Beersdorf residence on Thursday, the day Goggins was supposed to have gone to Lawrenceburg for an emergency medical technician training course, for which she never arrived. The Beersdorfs reported Goggins missing Saturday.

Investigators believe Goggins was killed at home on Thursday afternoon. They believe Steven Beersdorf drove her car to McNairy County and burned it before disposing of the body in the Tennessee River. Searchers have not yet recovered the body and Wayne County Sheriff Ric Wilson said the weather and water temperature could keep the body submerged for three or four more weeks.

Goggins’ grandmother and two aunts from Ohio were in the courtroom as was Josh Beersdorf, the younger son of Steven and Sylvia Beersdorf, who told reporters he was there to support his parents.

“They’re still my parents even if they are accused of this crime,” he said after the proceedings. “At the same time, I feel for Rose and her family. I wanted to hug (her family members) but I didn’t know how.

“People need to be praying for them.”

Sylvia Beersdorf is accused of being an accessory to Goggins’ slaying. The couple is being held without bail.

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