Amelia killed by a man she’d only just started dating
SHE was just 22 and on the first great adventure of her adult life. But British backpacker Amelia Blake's dream Australian trip came to a horribly brutal and inexplicable end.
Police say Ms Blake, who had spent most of her time in Australia working on a Victorian farm, was killed last week by her lover in a tiny Newtown flat, above a Persian restaurant on busy King St in Sydney's inner west.
And now her broken-hearted family and friends are left to wonder why.
Police believe she was killed by a Nepalese man, aged in his 30s, who she had only recently started dating.
He was also found dead in the apartment. The grisly scene was discovered by the landlord, who had come to check the post on Friday. Police said the pair had been dead for a few hours by that time.
A post-mortem examination was yesterday carried out to confirm the cause of the pair's deaths but police are treating the case as a murder-suicide. Ms Blake's body was riddled with injuries, including to her head.
Friends of Ms Blake have posted tributes to the young British tourist online.
Ellie Mackness said the 22-year-old was "amazing" and "warm hearted, bubbly, loving and down to earth".
"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. All my thoughts are with you … may you rest in peace my friend. We'll meet again one day," she wrote on Facebook.
Rhys James Collington said Ms Blake was his "best friend".
"This week we received the devastating news, that Amelia Blake, my best friend was murdered whilst living the dream, travelling around Australia. The new is Tragic. This has broken my heart into a million pieces. Since we were 4 we were the Three amigos along with Daniela. 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".
Neighbour Scott Haggarty, one of the last people to see Ms Blake and her killer alive, said they had looked like a "happy" couple who kept to themselves.
Another neighbour, Chalee Soysup, said she had seen Ms Blake sitting in a carpark speaking with the man.
Ms Blake had only just arrived back in Sydney and was already looking to the future. She was off to Vietnam and then back to Australia to travel to Tasmania.
And in a message posted a few days before she was murdered, Ms Blake spoke of returning to England and going for a spin in her friend's new car.
Whatever her plans, Ms Blake seemed keen to keep moving.
"I see my path but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel in Australia 2017," she wrote on her Instagram page.
She had been in Australian for eight months, spending time at a farm in Colignan, near Mildura in northwest Victoria.
The farm relies on working holiday-makers to help with the harvesting and packing of citrus fruits. Ms Blake enjoyed her time there, topping up her holiday fund and striking up treasured friendships with fellow travellers.
She was well liked. Her farm boss said she was a "good worker" during the three months she spent there.
And she was very close to her new friends. In one social media picture, Ms Blake's hand is tagged alongside two other girls wearing matching rings to have a "reminder" of their adventures together at the farm.
"I like this a lot," Ms Blake wrote below the picture.
And at Christmas, she posed with some friends in front of a tinnie tree - a makeshift Christmas tree constructed out of empty VB cans.
"Friends are the family you choose! Merry Christmas from the farm," the message underneath read.
One friend, Steve, said Ms Blake left the farm to return to Sydney on Boxing Day.
Another confirmed she had been living in Newtown and was seeing a man of Nepalese background.
A close friend, based in London, told The Daily Telegraph Ms Blake had been very ill recently but was looking forward to going to more travel.
However, those friends started to worry when they could not contact her.
NSW Police Inspector Chad Deegenaars confirmed a post-mortem had been carried out.
"Up until that point we're still maintaining the crime scene, we're holding that until we get the results of the post-mortem," he said.
Detectives have established Strike Force Tenisonwood to investigate the deaths. They are asking anyone with information to come forward.
Meanwhile, Ms Blake's family members were last night on their way to Sydney from England.
The UK Foreign Office has confirmed it was providing consular assistance to the family.
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