Police in the Australian city of Brisbane are investigating the grisly murder of a sex-worker by her chef husband, who dismembered her body and cooked parts of her, before committing suicide. Police were called to the couple’s Teneriffe apartment after neighbors reported an unpleasant and overpowering smell.
28-year-old Marcus Volke attempted to escape from the police by leaping over a balcony into the alley below. He then slashed his own throat in a dumpster, in which he was hiding.
On Saturday night, residents reported a foul smell coming from the apartment and, when officers arrived, they discovered parts of Mayang Prasetyo in a pot on the stove. Other parts of her body were discovered in garbage bags outside.
The couple had recently moved into the upscale apartment complex. Ms. Prasetyo, who was transgender, is said to have worked in the sex industry for several years; describing herself as a “top high-class Asian shemale” and charging as much as $500 an hour. A brothel owner in Melbourne, from where the couple had recently moved, described the victim as a “truly beautiful soul who worked for us for many years.” He continued, “She was a beautiful, peaceful person that was kind and trustworthy.” A friend of Ms. Prasetyo, who did not wish to be identified, told the Australian Herald Sun newspaper “Mayang was a cheerful person, easy to make friends. Sometime she can also be temperamental. When she is really angry she can explode too.” Prasetyo’s mother, Nining Sukarni, who still lives in the victim’s native Indonesia, said that Prasetyo had been the family breadwinner, had always sent money home from Australia and had paid to put her sisters through school. Sukarni referred to her daughter as her son, Febri.
The couple appeared to have had a volatile relationship; to those who knew him, Volke, who had worked at the same Melbourne brothel, was described as quiet, detached and “extremely cold.” Speaking of Volke, former friend Rob Sinclair described a noticeable deterioration in the chef. Describing recent photographs that Volke had posted online, Sinclair said “The last two profile pictures, you can kind of see in his eyes that it has gone,” he said. “I don’t know what happened to him but it looks like all the life has been dragged out of him.” Recently, Volke had visited a local hospital to be treated for a cut on his hand, which he had claimed was inflicted by his wife. Neighbors said that the couple could be heard arguing in their apartment just a few days before the discovery of the murder.
Despite the gruesome murder, Volke, who was a student of Karate, had no criminal record and was not known to use drugs. The couple originally met when they were both working on a cruise ship and were married in August of 2013.
The murder scene was discovered following complaints by residents of a foul smell. One neighbor told reporters that she had first noticed the odor last Wednesday but that it became much worse in the intervening days. “It made your eyes water,” she said, “it made you want to be sick.”
The murder has shocked local residents, now that the details have emerged. Why Volke decided to dismember and cook his wife will probably never be known.
Graham J Noble