Alex Dion, 39, flew into Sydney from the US on Sunday accompanied by NSW police officers. His case appeared at Sydney Central Local Court on Monday morning.
He is accused of killing Wachira “Mario” Phetmang’s whose body was found on Homebush Bay Drive, Sydney Olympic Park last year.
On 6 June 2018, police were called to the road by a passing truck driver who had discovered the body. It was wrapped in a plastic and covered with a mattress protector and may have been there for as long as a week.
The body was identified as that of Mr Phetmang, 33, a Thai national who had been living in Australia for 10 years and was a permanent resident.
Commander of the NSW Homicide Squad Scott Hook said on Monday that while the two were known to one another the motive for the killing was unclear.
“He was bound and gagged and we know he suffered serious head injuries that caused his death, Detective Superintendent Hook said.
Police allege the death occurred in a unit in Belmore.
Mr Phetmang worked at a coffee chain and was last seen on 25 May at a petrol station in South Hurstville, in Sydney’s south.
Mr Dion is thought to have left Australia on 27 May 2018, a week before the body was found.
In court documents seen by news.com.au, police allege the offence took place between 7.30pm on 25 Mary and 9pm on 27 May 2019 — the time between the last sighting of Mr Phetmang and when Mr Dion left Australia.
Late last year NSW Police detectives applied for and were granted a warrant to arrest Mr Dion. After he was arrested on an unrelated matter in California, he was extradited to Australia.
Detectives travelled to San Diego last week to enact the extradition.
“The family are still upset. An arrest like this doesn’t bring the victim back,” Det Supt Hook said.
An autopsy revealed he has been severely beaten with multiple wounds to his head, the cause of his death.