Work colleagues have revealed how a Nepalese chef stalked a British backpacker before killing her in a horror murder-suicide in Sydney.
Brazil Gurung, 33, first met Amelia Blake, 22, when the pair worked together at Fogo Brazilia Churrasco in the inner-west suburb of Newtown.
The restaurant is just a few minutes’ walk from the grisly scene of Friday’s killing in a tiny apartment on King Street.
Ms Blake and Gurung both stopped working at the Brazilian eatery last year, with the young British backpacker taking up a farming job in rural Victoria before returning to Sydney.
Shocked former colleagues told Daily Mail Australia that Gurung was ‘weird’ and had significant ‘money troubles’, while calling Ms Blake ‘the nicest person you’d ever meet’.
‘He asked all the staff for money, we knew there was something weird going on with him,’ a colleague said.
‘It was odd the fact that he was always looking for money, looking for money… he owed one of the guys a lot.
‘She worked here as a waitress for about two months and he was a chef and that’s when they met. She was funny, full of confidence, she was just lovely.
‘It’s just terrible, he seemed like a good guy and you would never expect that to happen, but how well do you really know someone?’
Another ex-colleague who no longer works at the restaurant said he recalled Gurung being ‘infatuated’ with Ms Blake and ‘constantly talking about her’ even after she left to go fruit picking interstate.
Ms Blake was found dead inside the flat on Friday afternoon, alongside Gurung’s body.
Police believe Ms Blake was killed by Gurung, who she had started dating in recent months.
A neighbour told Daily Mail Australia he heard a ‘piercing scream’ at about 5pm on Friday afternoon.
I was sitting inside with my dogs and I heard this horrific piercing scream from over the lane,’ the man said.
‘I rushed outside but that was it and I didn’t think too much of it because there’s a lot of yelling and yahooing that goes on around here.
‘About 20 minutes later I went outside again and there was police everywhere, I think it must have been the landlord screaming when they found them.’
Tributes from the UK have poured in for the 22-year-old, who has been described by loved ones as ‘an angel taken too soon’.
Her best friend, Rhys James Collington, said Ms Blake died while ‘living the dream travelling round Australia’.
‘She was a beautiful, kind woman with a big heart full of kindness,’ Mr Collington told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday.
Earlier taking to Facebook, the heartbroken Englishman spoke of his anguish.
‘It’s almost unimaginable that I’ll never see you again, my dear friend. Until we meet again. I love you to the moon and back. My Love always. Rhysie Boy,’ he wrote.
Another friend, Ellie Mackness, remembered Ms Blake for her infectious smile and down-to-earth attitude.
‘She was the most warm-hearted, bubbly, loving and down to earth woman I knew,’ she wrote.
‘The way she has been taken from this world was unthinkable and breaks my heart every time I think about it. An angel taken to early.’
The bodies of Ms Blake and her boyfriend were discovered by their landlord who visited the small flat, above a Persian restaurant, to collect his mail on Friday night.
The British woman’s body was reportedly riddled with injuries, including wounds to her head, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Ms Blake is believed to have made plans to move overseas in the lead up to her death.
NSW Police Inspector Chad Deegenaars said the tragedy was being treated as a murder-suicide, but post-mortem results would confirm the causes of death.
Ms Blake is believed to have been in Australia for eight months before she was found dead.
She spent most of her time in Australia working on a farm at Colignan, near Mildura in Victoria’s north-west.
On her Instagram page, she spoke fondly about her desire to travel.
‘I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it,’ Ms Blake said.
Detectives have established Strike Force Tenisonwood to investigate the deaths.
They said the crime scene would be maintained until results from the post-mortem came back.
Ms Blake’s family reportedly boarded a flight from the UK to Sydney on Tuesday and were due to arrive in Australia on Thursday to take her body home.
A UK Foreign Office spokesman said consular assistance was being provided to the family.
Neighbour Scott Haggarty said his heart stopped when the police told him his neighbours had been found dead.
He said the couple ‘looked happy’ when he saw them arrive home on Wednesday afternoon.
‘They kept to themselves. They just looked like a regular couple, I never heard an argument or anything,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.
‘They looked like a couple who worked in the bars and were on holidays here.’
Mr Haggarty said the pair moved into the flat about three months ago.
Another neighbour of the young couple, Jason You, said he heard a loud ‘boom’ about 5pm on Friday – shortly before the bodies were discovered.
Source: The Daily Mail