A professional chef who specialized in bone broth allegedly tried to use his culinary skills to cover up the murder of his wife.
According to News.com.au, Marcus Volke is believed to have murdered his wife Mayang Prasetyo, a transgender woman, in October 2014. Australian police discovered the grisly scene after an electrician called to Volke’s Brisbane apartment became suspicious of the smell and the presence of chemicals in the apartment.
Volke had reportedly short-circuited the power in his apartment when a pot boiled over. He was forced to call an electrician, and told him that he had been cooking bone broth, to explain the smell.
But in reality, he had been boiling Prasetyo’s remains in large pot.
When police knocked on his door, Volke told them he was going to secure the couple’s dogs before letting them enter, but instead slit his own throat and jumped out a back window. His dead body was found in garbage can.
Police told News.com.au that they initially believed the scene at Volke’s apartment was a sick joke.
“(There) was a bad smell, it was something I hadn’t smelt before and can’t really describe,” Senior Constable Bryan Reid said on the opening day of the inquest in Brisbane on Monday. They found human feet that had been boiling on the stove.
Police also found a large pool of blood on the kitchen floor, and additional dismembered remains in a garbage bag near the washing machine.
An inquest into deaths of Marcus Volke and Mayang Prasetyo shown harrowing footage of police discovering her body. https://t.co/pMKA0qrOwP
— Kate Kyriacou (@KateKyriacou) May 15, 2017
At an inquest, investigators said that Volke and Prasetyo had met several years earlier, while she was working as an escort in transgender clubs. Because he struggled with mental health issue, he was unable to obtain steady employment as a chef, and decided to become a male escort.
“They came up with an agreement between the two parties that [Volke] would assist with her getting a permanent partner visa for Australia and she would assist him within transgender clubs within Melbourne and overseas, in Europe and Asia,” Detective Sgt. Joshua Walsh said in court.
Volke reportedly used his earning to pay back credit card debt, and Prasetyo sent money to her impoverished family in her native Indonesia, paying for the schooling of her two younger sisters.
— Mamamia (@Mamamia) May 16, 2017
The couple traveled extensively and married in Denmark in 2013. Prasetyo’s family reported know about the relationship, but Volke’s family knew nothing.
Police spoke to Volke’s former partners, who he kept in touch with via Facebook and email. One woman told police that Volke continued to struggle with anxiety and other mental health issues.
Still, it’s unclear what motivated Volke, 27, to murder his wife. Friends told police that the relationship could be volatile, though there were no known reports of previous violence.
Police told the news outlet that investigators believe the murder followed a domestic dispute, and was not premeditated. The exact cause of Prasetyo’s death is not yet known.