Ballarat’s killer chef had mental health problems, inquest hears

Marcus Volke and (inset) Mayang Prasetyo.
Marcus Volke and (inset) Mayang Prasetyo.

A former Ballarat man who killed and dismembered his Indonesian partner before taking his own life in 2014 had seen a doctor for anxiety, depression and a sleep disorder in the weeks before their deaths, an inquest has heard.

Mayang Prasetyo, a transgender escort, was allegedly murdered and maimed by Brisbane chef Marcus Volke at their apartment before he then fled the scene and took his own life in a nearby industrial bin soon after police arrived for a welfare check.

During questioning before state coroner Terry Ryan on Monday, Detective Sergeant Joshua Walsh said Volke had presented to a Newstead-based doctor for mental health issues two weeks before the couple's deaths in October 2014.

Detective Sergeant Walsh, who investigated Volke's death, also said police had obtained medical records showing that he had sought treatment at the Ballarat Base Hospital when he was 16 years old.

Before moving to Brisbane, Mr Volke had lived in Haddon and attended Ballarat High School.

He had a keen interest in martial arts and was a member of Haddon’s Damashii Dojo.

Volke had met the victim while working as an escort in Melbourne's club scene to pay off $9000 in credit card debts, the court heard.

Marcus Volke had a keen interest in martial arts. Photo: supplied.

Marcus Volke had a keen interest in martial arts. Photo: supplied.

In her opening address, counsel assisting Emily Cooper said neighbours had noticed a foul smell coming from the couple's apartment on October 3, a day after they were heard arguing.

Mayang Prasetyo

Mayang Prasetyo

That same day, Volke presented to Royal Brisbane Hospital for treatment to a cut on his hand, Ms Cooper said.

A manager of the Teneriffe apartment building where the couple lived contacted police on October 4 and reported seeing blood stains and cleaning products inside the unit.

One of the officers who responded to the report, Senior Constable Bryan Reid, said the building manager was concerned something wasn't right.

"They knew that there was a female that lived there with the man and they hadn't seen her for a couple days, and there was a foul sort of odour around there," Sen Const Reid told the court.

"It was a bad smell, it was something I hadn't smelt before and can't really describe."

Police questioned Volke outside the apartment and then allowed him to go back inside to tether his dogs so they could enter.

When he went back inside, Volke locked the door, self-harmed and exited from the rear of the building. He was later found dead inside a nearby bin.

Inside the apartment, police discovered some of Miss Prasetyo's remains in a black garbage bag inside the washing machine, while her feet were found protruding from a stock pot on the kitchen floor, next to a pool of Volke's blood.

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- with AAP