San Diego man accused of killing man found bound, gagged in Australia: report

Wachira “Mario” Phetmang is seen in surveillance video released by the New South Wales Police Force on June 19, 2018.

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego man was identified by authorities as the person suspected of killing a Thai man in Australia and leaving his body bound and gagged on a roadside, the Associated Press reported, citing a federal search warrant.

In September, Australian authorities issued an arrest warrant for Alex Dion, 38, months after the body of Wachira “Mario” Phetmang, 33, was found on the side of a freeway in Sydney Olympic Park, according to the AP. Dion was already in custody on a domestic violence charge in San Diego when the warrant was issued, the AP reported, citing a federal search warrant that the FBI filed on Friday.

Two days after Phetmang’s death, Dion returned to the United States, the AP reported. Then on June 6, Phetmang’s body was found wrapped in a plastic material and covered with a mattress protector, according to a release from the New South Wales Police Force.

A post mortem examination showed Phetmang’s cause of death was blunt-force trauma and that he had been seriously assaulted, according to the release.

Detectives traveled to San Diego earlier this week to coordinate Dion’s extradition to New South Wales, according to the release. The warrant says Dion is set to be extradited to Australia on Friday, the AP reported.

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