By Paul Thornton
Sales assistant Megan Nolan, 22, told the High Court in Livingston the dad-of-two was “completely calm” despite it being found only yards from the Spar shop where he worked on Hogmanay 2008.
Miss Nolan said: “It was about a couple minutes walk along the road. I was in the big freezer in the back shop and Alan came through to tell me.
“I can’t remember if it had been on the news or if a customer had come in and said about it. He just told me like it was just talking about the weather. It just came naturally.
“I didn’t think it had anything to do with Alan at that stage.
“He was completely calm.”
The court heard Cameron, 56, got a job at the Spar in Edinburgh’s Lindsay Road on September 11, 2008 – nine months after prosecutors say he killed 44-year-old Heather.
Before her remains were finally discovered he would show colleagues pictures of Heather and tell them about buying flowers and taking her to the cinema.
He was once found having a phone row late in 2008 and told Miss Nolan that it had been Heather on the line.
She said: “He told me he was on the phone to Heather and he told me she was arguing with him.
“He was using the F word. The phone call was about five to 10 minutes. I think he started going on about her drinking and that she had let him down because she had not gone to his daughter’s funeral.
“It was like he had a split personality. Sometimes he would be fine and then he would go really quiet and really down.
“I used to comfort him and give him cuddles and tell him it would be okay. There was one occasion when I was on the till when with him and he started crying on the till and I went to give him a cuddle and his put his arm up to stop me, but aggressively.
“It upset me.”
In October 2008 Cameron called work to tell them his daughter had been in a horror car crash – he later said she had died of a heart attack.
But the story was a lie.
Supervisor Stephanie McCaig, 21, said afterwards Cameron used the phrase ‘no more Mr Nice Guy’.
Assistant Arlene Baillie, 39, said that she also noticed a funny smell coming from Cameron in December 2008 – the month when Heather’s remains were discovered.
The former nursing assistant said it was similar to the smell caused when maggots attack gangrene.
She said: “He asked for cash back for a customer which meant I had to kneel down and I could smell it of the lower part of his trousers.
“There is no other smell like it.”
Earlier a council worker told the court how when he was called to change locks on Suzanne’s flat in Edinburgh’s Royston Mains Place over rent arrears, he was greeted by a terrible smell.
Joiner Glenn Walker, 48, said: “There was a very strong odour coming from the property. Over the years working for the council I have come across quite a few dead bodies.
“I opened the door and said ‘It smells like there is something dead, a cat or something. I know the smell of dead bodies and it was very similar.”
Cameron admits hiding Heather’s body at her home for over a year before chopping up her body and dumping the parts.
He stole almost £5,000 from her Post Office account while hiding her corpse and lied about hearing from her.
But he denies murdering her.
Charity worker Catherine Reid, 44, had been helping Heather rebuild her life after meeting her in September 2007.
But a text on December 11 from Heather’s mobile was the last she ever got from her phone.
The message said Heather had had to go to Glasgow after her boyfriend Alan Cameron’s daughter had suffered a heart attack.
Miss Reid, who works for homeless charity Foursquare, never heard from her again and closed her file in May 2008.
She said she “assumed” that Heather was still in Glasgow.
Cameron now admits that he in fact sent the text, pretending to be Heather.
The trial before Judge Lord Matthews continues.