‘DRIVEN HIM TO DO IT’: What caused chef to kill Amelia
A CHEF believed to have murdered his Brit backpacker girlfriend before committing suicide could have been driven to kill by cocaine abuse - and "couldn't stand" that she wanted to leave Australia.
A friend of Brazil Gurung, 33, has revealed he was regularly taking the class A drug and became "passionately angry" when he found out partner Amelia Blake, 22, planned to travel abroad.
Mercedez Briones, 23, was manager of Sydney restaurant Fogo Brazil where the Nepalese chef and backpacker Ms Blake, 22, met while she worked as a waitress and he a chef.
She said Mr Gurung was drowning in debt and using drugs heavily before the bodies of the couple were discovered in a cramped flat in the inner Sydney suburb of Newtown last Friday.
Ms Blake's body - that was covered with injuries, including to her head - was found in Mr Gurung's tiny unit on King St. Police believe Mr Gurung killed Ms Blake before taking his own life.
Police have not revealed how either of them were killed.
Another friend revealed Mr Gurung may still have been married at the time he was dating Ms Blake, who had been in Australia eight months and recently returned to Sydney from a farm in regional Victoria.
Ms Briones, who lives in Sydney, said: "Brazil was at the end of his rope. He was struggling with money issues, supporting his ex-wife, paying for his visa, and had no one for support.
"I know he was doing cocaine. I'm not sure if he did that night but I think it could have driven him to do what he did. He was probably using other stuff on the side.
"Brazil was very lonely, he had no family or anyone there for him, so when she told him she was leaving he couldn't stand it and became passionately angry.
"We were close friends, and the last time we spoke he said his life was a living nightmare, he had his visa and so many things to pay off with his rent, studies and visa."
Ms Briones said Mr Gurung's debt was compounded by his failed marriage, and that he was helping to pay his ex-wife's rent after the pair parted ways.
She said she grew concerned Mr Gurung was becoming obsessive over Ms Blake, and that she believed he flew into a rage when he heard she planned to leave Australia.
But she said she was struggling to come to terms with the news of what he had done.
Ms Briones said: "I couldn't believe it when I heard. He's not that type of person. He's not a bad guy. It's so weird he would up and do that.
"What he did was wrong, but there might have been reasons behind it. I just wish he had spoken up and done something about it."
Another friend, Kamal Prasai, 24, said Mr Gurung may have still been married at the time he was dating Ms Blake - but said he was not aware if Brazil was using drugs.
The 24-year-old, from Sydney, said: "I don't know whether they were divorced or not, but I used to work with his wife in 2015. I lost touch with her after that.
"The last time I talked with him was in December when he asked me for some financial help which I did.
"I can't imagine his circumstances at that point of time when he did all this. No one imagined Brazil could do something like this."
A spokesman for NSW Police confirmed toxicology reports would form part of the brief for the coroner from the post-mortem.
The results of this are not expected to be released until an inquest is opened but police could not yet confirm when this would be.
Ms Blake's family put out a statement saying it was struggling to deal with her death.
"We are deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of our much loved daughter and sister Amelia, who will be truly missed by all who knew her," the statement said.
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