Body of 9-year-old Girl Discovered in Barrel Along River After Missing Report

The body of a 9-year-old girl was discovered in a barrel along the Colo river in New South Wales (NSW), Australia on Tuesday by police.

Following this discovery, the NSW Police charged a 31-year-old man with the murder of the girl, who had disappeared from a village in the Blue Mountains on January 14.

The man was taken to Surry Hills Police Station and charged with murder. He has also been refused bail and the investigation is still ongoing.

NSW Commissioner Karen Webb spoke at a press conference on Wednesday and said that hundreds of police officers had been working to find the 9-year-old girl over the last 5 days.

Webb said the cause of death is still under investigation and authorities will continue to search for clues to better understand what happened to the girl.

Deputy Commissioner David Hudson said the remains found in the barrel were consistent with that of the missing girl. He added that the barrel has now been sent to the city morgue and will be examined further.

The Deputy Commissioner also explained why the authorities had suspicions of the accused man. Hudson said through the use of CCTV and GPS police were able to establish facts regarding the vehicle the accused was driving and his movements. He also highlighted "certain suspicious behavior which escalated" the police's scrutiny of his potential involvement.

"Many of those investigative strategies revealed inconsistencies with two versions provided to us by the accused," Hudson said.

He continued: "Once the remains had been found last night, very shortly afterward the accused was arrested at Surrey Hills and conveyed and charged with the offensive murder."

Hudson also insisted the police were sure that the accused was responsible for placing the 9-year-old in the barrel.

"Last night we obviously found the human remains consistent with the missing girl, until the post-mortem is conducted we are still uncertain of what exactly happened to her," Hudson said.

He added: "What we are sure of is that the accused we charged with murder is responsible for firstly placing her in the barrel and then disposing of that barrel in the bushland where she was located.

"As the commissioner indicated, we are very much in the early stages of this investigation. Things will unravel over the next week or so, the cause of death, the purpose of her death and [we will] try and identify exactly what happened so the remaining family has some comfort in that."

Addressing questions from the press, Hudson said the police have no evidence to suggest the man charged had any accomplices but will continue to investigate.

Newsweek has contacted the NSW Police Department for comment.

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Stock image of an Australian police car. Police have charged a man with murder after the 9-year-old's body was discovered. Getty Images