Man Charged With Murder After Body Of 9-Year-Old Girl Found In Barrel
A 31-year-old man has been charged with murder after a body police believe to belong to a nine-year-old girl was found in a barrel.
The man was arrested in Surry Hills, New South Wales on Tuesday, January 18 after the young girl was reported missing on Friday.
The nine-year-old had been on holiday with her family at Wildenstein Private Gardens in Mount Wilson west of Sydney prior to her disappearance, with deputy NSW police commissioner David Hudson saying it had been a tough search for those involved.
Per The Guardian, he explained the barrel was located on Tuesday afternoon and a forensic examination resulted in the discovery of the human remains, which are ‘consistent with the missing nine-year-old girl’.
The barrel was then taken to the city morgue for further examination.
Hudson added: ‘We’ve had over 200 investigators from state crime command assisting north-west region detectives on the investigative side of this. That has been quite a laborious task in analysing GPS data, analysing CCTV footage and leading us to search the location we searched last night.’
Acting commissioner Karen Webb said: ‘It’s now in the hands of the coroner … the search will remain ongoing to look for any clues to help us identify the cause of the death. I encourage people to come forward with information. There are still many elements of this investigation that we have to work through to determine exactly what happened.’
The 31-year-old has been denied bail and appeared via video link in Sydney’s central local court today, when his lawyer asked magistrate Robert Williams for an order to ‘protect his personal safety.’
Williams claimed his client had been under long-term care for ‘mental health problems’ and that he had for years received prescriptions of a fairly high dose of antipsychotic drugs quetiapine and risperidone.
The deputy commissioner claimed the accused man ‘purchased a number of 20kg sandbags from a hardware store’ before he tried to ‘fuel a boat and then tried to float that boat on the water at one of the docks in inner Sydney’.
His attempt to float the boat was reportedly unsuccessful, and police allegedly then tracked him back to the location where the barrel was found.
The magistrate said he would order Justice Health to assess the man’s mental health needs, but explained his conditions in prison would be the responsibility of Corrective Services NSW.
The mother of the nine-year-old is said to have been in hospital since the search for her daughter began on Friday, though detectives spent extensive time at the Mount Wilson property interviewing the family.
The case is due back in court on March 18.
If you want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 8am–10pm Monday to Friday, 9am–6pm weekends. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111
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