Stuart Hazell has denied killing 12-year-old Tia Sharp, his partner's granddaughter.
Hazell, 37, appeared in Court One at the Old Bailey via videolink from Belmarsh prison.
He pleaded not guilty to murdering Tia between August 2 and 10, last year.
Police didn't find the body of Tia Sharp despite searching the house in New Addington four times
Hazel, of New Addington, south London, was remanded in custody to face trial at the same court on May 7.
Hazell has been charged with murder
Tia's body was found in the loft at the house where Sharp lived with Christine Sharp a week after she was reported missing.
Her disappearance sparked searches by police and members of the public, but the body was missed when the attic was first searched.
Stuart Hazell, Tia's step-grandfather, was arrested after her body was found
Tia's mother, Natalie Sharp, was in court with her partner, and Tia's father, Stephen Carter, watched from the public gallery.
Hazell wore a black T-shirt and gold necklace. He leant forward as the clerk asked him to confirm his name.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.