REGINA -- A 78-year old Regina man has been charged with first-degree murder for the 1997 disappearance of his brother.

Dr. Patrick Thauberger, 53 at the time, was last seen on Sept. 3, 1997.

He was reported missing to police on Sept. 16, 1997.

On Sunday police charged and arrested 78-year old Joseph George Thauberger with first-degree murder, an indignity to a dead human body, and uttering threats to a woman from 1997 to 2014. Police say the charges follow a 23-year investigation.

Thauberger made his first court appearance on Monday morning at Regina's Provincial Court.

While making his first appearance, it was clear Thauberger had trouble walking into the prisoner's box to stand before the Judge.

Thauberger asked Judge Noah Evanchuk if he could sit during the proceedings but Evanchuk said he could not.

Thauberger is being held in custody and his lawyer, Tony Merchant, requested Thauberger be released.

The Crown Prosecutor told Judge Evanchuk the crown is opposed to Thauberger's release.

Merchant, who appeared via telephone, did argue that Thauberger is in poor health and said he has asthma, takes heart medication and has a pacemaker.

Merchant said in court that he's worried Thauberger may die while in custody.

The proceedings were adjourned and Thauberger will make his second court appearance Thursday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. at Regina's Provincial Court.