BRISBANE - The mother of an Indonesian transsexual said she had forgiven her son-in-law who killed and then reportedly dismembered and cooked her daughter, Australian media reported on Wednesday.
Ms Nining Sukarni, 45, found it hard to believe that 28-year-old Marcus Volke had slain his transgender partner, Mayang Prasetyo, the Brisbane Times said.
"I don't believe it. I don't think it's possible. Marcus is very soft. he's not capable of hurting people. He's a kind person," Ms Sukarni told media in Lampung, southern Sumatra.
Police believe Volke committed the murder in the ground floor apartment he shared with Ms Prasetyo in Teneriffe, Brisbane, some time last week. He fled and, shortly after, took his own life following police investigation last Saturday, according to ABC News.
Despite her grief, Ms Nining said she had reached out to Volke's family in Australia, asking for forgiveness for both Volke and Ms Mayang's deaths.
"My message for Marcus' family is let's forgive each other," she told Fairfax Media. "Please forgive Febri if he did things that anger Marcus or his family... I forgave Marcus for whatever he has done to Febri."
Ms Mayang, 27, identified as a girl throughout her childhood but her mother still refers to her as her son Febri Andriansyah. She was the eldest of three girls and sent money home to Indonesia to support her single mother and pay for her sisters' education.
The murder case has grabbed the headlines, with some media reports drawing the ire of readers.
A petition has been launched under the name of the Brisbane Trans Community, demanding an apology from Courier-Mail for calling Ms Mayang a "she-male" and a "ladyboy" in its coverage, The Independent reported on Tuesday.
The couple, who met on an international cruise ship, got married in August last year and Ms Prasetyo moved to Brisbane to be with Volke. But she had complained of being "bored" and wanted to return to Bali where they owned a home, Ms Sukarni said earlier.
Daily Mail Australia reported that online advertisements showed Ms Prasetyo charged up to A$500 (S$560) for her services as an "international escort". A separate report in the Brisbane Times said she was part of a Melbourne transgender cabaret show - Le Femme Garcon - before settling in Queensland's capital with her husband.