Sydney (AFP) - Police who found a dismembered body being cooked on a stovetop in an Australian apartment thought they had stumbled on a Halloween prank, they told an inquest on Monday.
Australian chef Marcus Volke is alleged to have murdered his Indonesian transgender wife Mayang Prasetyo in 2014 and attempted to cover it up by cutting up her body and cooking it.
Police were alerted to the gruesome discovery when the building's management reported a rank smell coming from the couple's Brisbane home.
When officers arrived Volke told them he needed to lock up his dogs but instead he bolted the door and fled, hiding in an industrial bin where he killed himself.
Constable Liam McWhinney told a coroner's inquest in Brisbane that when he and his partner Senior Constable Bryan Reid got into the apartment they discovered bloodstained floors and human feet being cooked in a pot.
"Originally I thought it was some sort of sick prank... Halloween or something. When I put two and two together, I realised it wasn't a prank," McWhinney told the inquest, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
"It was a bad smell, it was something I hadn't smelt before -- I can't really describe it," he told the Queensland coroner. "I'm thinking it could well be a murder that's happened."
Volke, who met his wife while they both worked as escorts, was seeking treatment for mental health problems in the weeks leading up to the death, the three-day inquest, which began Monday, was told.