This May 25, 2018 image from surveillance video released by the New South Wales Police Force shows victim Wachira "Mario" Phetmang, 33, entering a service station in South Hurstville, a suburb of Sydney. Authorities have identified an American suspect in the killing of Phetmang, April 9. 2019. ((New South Wales Police via AP))
Alex Dion, 38, was extradited from the United States to Australia under the supervision of armed guards and charged with the 2018 murder of Wachira "Mario" Phetmang upon arrival.
ABC News says a truck driver found Phetmang's body bound, wrapped in plastic and covered in a mattress protector last June. The gruesome autopsy showed he was on the receiving end of more than 20 wounds to his head, which produced multiple skull fractures.
An arrest warrant was issued for Dion in September while he was already in police custody for a separate domestic violence charge in San Diego.
Phetmang, 33, was last seen alive on May 25 at a petrol station in the Sydney suburb of South Hurstville. He was a former cafe and spa worker who had been living in Australia for over the last ten years, reported ABC News.
According to the search warrant, Dion called police after they held a news conference asking the public for help on the case and tried to blame an associate for Phetmang's killing, while admitting he had Phetmang's credit cards and cellphones with him in San Diego.
Dion, a U.S. citizen is believed to have left Australia on May 27, just over a week before the body was found and identified.
He told police that he had met Phetmang at the gas station to buy meth but that he left when their associate showed up. Police say that story doesn't match up with the surveillance footage in the area.
Dion was refused bail and will appear in court on Monday.