Husband thanks public for support

THE husband of murdered Melbourne woman Jill Meagher has thanked Australians for their support during the "worst" time of his life.

Tom Meagher was speaking outside Melbourne Magistrates' Court, where the man accused of killing and raping his wife had just appeared.

Adrian Ernest Bayley, 41, of Coburg, appeared only briefly in the court and will next appear on January 18.

Police arrested Bayley on Thursday afternoon and he faced an out-of-sessions court hearing at 2.30am on Friday, where he was charged with one count each of rape and murder.

Mrs Meagher's body was discovered in a shallow grave in Gisborne South, about 55km north-west of Melbourne, at 1.45am on Friday.

She had been missing since 1.30am on Saturday after a night out with ABC radio colleagues in Brunswick.

Mr Meagher spoke briefly to the media outside the court.

"Despite the fact this is the worse thing we will ever go through in our lives, I've been really humbled by the support the Australian public, the tireless efforts of the police and all the friends and family who have put their lives on hold to help us out," said Mr Meagher, flanked by Jill's brother Michael McKeon.

Mr Meagher added his voice to police calls for people to display restraint on social media in discussing the case.

"And while I really appreciate all the support I just would like to mention that negative comments on social media may hurt legal proceedings, so please be mindful of that," he said.

While thanking people for their help to date, police issued a statement on Friday afternoon pleading with people to avoid posting material that "might jeopardise a successful prosecution".

"Victoria Police have been overwhelmed by the enormity of the public support for this investigation expressed through social media," it read.

"Legislation dictates that nothing should be published that might prejudice the trial of an accused after they have been arrested or charged. That point has now been reached and as Jill's husband rightly pointed out this morning, restraint must be exercised so that the judicial process can run its course.

"Victoria Police remains incredibly grateful to all those who have sought to assist our investigations. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Jill's family and friends at this most difficult time."

Earlier, Jill's uncle Michael McKeon spoke about the family's despair.

"We are devastated, we are heartbroken," Mr McKeon said.

"She was the first grandchild my mother had and her aunties, uncles and cousins are powerless to describe their loss."

Mr McKeon thanked the Australian people for their support, and like Mr Meagher asked for privacy.