The suspected murderer of Santa Barbara City College student Brianna Denison has plead not guilty to charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and murder.

Twenty-seven-year-old James Michael Biela was arraigned last week, nearly a year after Denison disappeared. Biela was taken into custody after a 10-month investigation produced a DNA sample linking him to the murder. He was arrested on November 25.

Denison, a 19 year-old psychology student at the time, disappeared from a friend’s house in her hometown of Reno, Nevada on January 20, 2008. Her disappearance made national headlines, and her body was later found in a field on February 15. She had been sexually assaulted.

Authorities began to suspect Biela’s involvement after a witness reported his unusual behavior. Additionally, his girlfriend told a friend she had discovered a pair of underwear in Biela’s truck. The witness then informed authorities, and Biela’s girlfriend gave investigators permission to take a DNA sample from their four-year-old son, which ultimately linked Biela to the murder.

Biela has also been linked to at least two other kidnappings and sexual assaults in the Reno area.