A man extradited from the US and charged with murdering Thai national Wachira Mario Phetmang, whose body was found bound and gagged on a Sydney roadside, has had his case briefly mentioned in court.
Alex Dion was charged yesterday after he arrived in Sydney from California under police guard.
Detectives travelled to the US last week to extradite him after he was arrested by local authorities there last year for an unrelated matter.
The 39-year-old was refused bail and had his case mentioned in Central Local Court today, but did not appear in the court.
Mr Phetmang’s body was discovered by a truck driver in June 2018, wrapped in a plastic material and covered with a mattress protector.
The 33-year-old, who had been living in Australia for the past 10 years, died of “significant” head injuries, according to police, who believed he was killed at a unit in Belmore.
Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said Mr Phetmang and Dion were associates, but added police did not know the full extent of their relationship.
The motive appears unclear at this stage,” he told reporters this morning.
Det Sup Cook said police had built a substantial brief of forensic evidence, witness accounts and CCTV footage.
When put together it enabled us to formulate a case for extradition he said.
He said Dion was not answering police questions.
Det Sup Cook thanked US authorities for their assistance in the extradition of Dion, which he described at “seamless”.
Australian authorities issued a warrant for the arrest of Dion, a US national, in September 2018.
Det Sup Cook said Mr Phetmang’s family were still devastated by his murder.
They’re still upset. Arrests like this don’t bring victims back, so they don’t satisfy the families in terms of bringing victims back he said.
But they are satisfied that the police have done all they can do to bring someone to justice for this.