The trial of a Halifax-area man accused of killing his girlfriend got underway Tuesday with opening statements.

Paul Trevor Calnen is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Reita Jordan.         

The Crown told the court Tuesday it believes Calnen murdered the 34-year-old and hid her body in the woods near his home in Hammonds Plains, N.S., and returned weeks later to burn the remains. The defence is challenging the Crown's theory.     

Jordan went missing in March of 2013. Her remains have never been found.          

“In Canada you don't need a murder in order to prove murder, but it does make it difficult because you have to prove the intent,” said Crown prosecutor Rick Woodburn.

Calnen has pleaded guilty to indecently interfering with human remains by burning Jordan's body. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge of second-degree murder.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.