CHIANGRAI TIMES – Alexander Lee’s holiday in Laos ended in tragedy, with police finding the 22-year-old Yarraville man dead beside a Rianne Brouwer in a hotel room in Luang Prabang province on Saturday.
Mr Lee is the third young Australian man to die in Laos in the past month.
Laos’s authorities said the bodies of the young Melbourne man and 18-year-old Dutch woman Rianne Brouwer were surrounded with prescription medication and empty beer bottles – although this is not information that has been relayed to the family by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Soudaphone Khomthavong , the deputy director of Luang Prabang provincial tourism department, said Mr Lee had been in Laos with Ms Brouwer since January 5. They checked in to the backpacker-friendly Riverside Guest House in the Muang Ngoi district on January 31 but were not seen by hotel staff until they discovered their bodies several days later, she said.
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that Ms Brouwer lived in Bakkum in the Netherlands and graduated from college last year.
Ms Soudaphone said the couple were found naked, with a blanket covering half their bodies. There were no signs of injury.
She said various medications had been found in the room and would be tested. An autopsy would determine how the pair died. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was notified of the death on Tuesday and said it was providing assistance to Mr Lee’s family.
A department spokesman said travel advice to Laos was under constant review and information had been updated on Wednesday in light of two fatal tubing accidents. It was impossible to update travel advice following Mr Lee’s death because the cause of death had not yet been confirmed, he said.