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Nick Fontanelli, charged in death of LaSalle mother, in court for preliminary hearing

WATCH ABOVE: Vanessa Higgins remembers her daughter, Samantha, who was murdered and dismembered in 2015.

Nick Fontanelli, charged in the death of his fiancée Samantha Higgins, is appearing in court Monday for his preliminary hearing.

The 24-year-old is charged with first-degree murder and committing an indignity to a body.

WATCH: Nick Fontanelli, charged in the death of his fiancée Samantha Higgins, appeared in court Monday for his preliminary hearing. Global’s Tim Sargeant reports.
Nick Fontanelli in court for preliminary hearing
Nick Fontanelli in court for preliminary hearing

READ MORE: Mother of Samantha Higgins desperate for justice

A publication ban has been put in place on all testimony, including that of Higgins’ mother, who testified Monday morning.

“I just want everyone to remember Sam. I don’t want her to be forgotten,” Vanessa Higgins told Global News last year.

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WATCH BELOW: Remembering Samantha Higgins

The young, 22-year-old mother of two was last seen walking home from a friend’s house in LaSalle on July 7, 2015.

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READ MORE: Fiancé charged with first-degree murder of Samantha Higgins

Her dismembered body was found three days later in a bag under a bridge in Hinchinbrooke, roughly 75 kilometres south-west of Montreal.

A painting of Samantha Higgins hangs on the wall in her mother's home. Thursday, June 16, 2016.
A painting of Samantha Higgins hangs on the wall in her mother's home. Thursday, June 16, 2016. Kelly Greig/Gloabl News
Candles left behind after a vigil for Samantha Higgins, 22, who was found murdered on Friday, July 10, 2015.
Candles left behind after a vigil for Samantha Higgins, 22, who was found murdered on Friday, July 10, 2015. Martin Hazel/Global News
Samantha Higgins, 22, was reported missing July 7, 2015. Her body was found in a river Hinchinbrooke on Thursday, July 9, 2015.
Samantha Higgins, 22, was reported missing July 7, 2015. Her body was found in a river Hinchinbrooke on Thursday, July 9, 2015. FindingSamantha.com
A mural on the bridge where Samantha Higgins was found, Tuesday, January 19, 2016.
A mural on the bridge where Samantha Higgins was found, Tuesday, January 19, 2016. Vanessa Higgins
A family photo of Nick Fontanelli with Samantha Higgins, who was found dead in Hinchinbrooke, Que.
A family photo of Nick Fontanelli with Samantha Higgins, who was found dead in Hinchinbrooke, Que. Facebook

The preliminary hearing is expected to last until Feb. 28.