SYDNEY, Australia — A Winnipeg native and aspiring country singer has reportedly died of carbon monoxide poisoning in Australia.
The Daily Telegraph in Sydney says Derek Kehler died on Monday along with his companion, Helena Curic of Australia, while they were camping in a makeshift cabin in the Blue Mountains northwest of Sydney.
The newspaper says it is believed they died in their sleep after taking a pot of hot coals from a bonfire into a converted steel container they were staying in.
Curic’s sister Natalie, who owns the property and was staying in an adjoining container with her family, reportedly made the discovery early Monday morning.
The newspaper says Kehler, 32, and Curic, 31, began dating after they met while working at an IT firm in Vancouver a couple of years ago and later transferred to the company’s Sydney office.
Kehler was an aspiring country singer pursuing a career under the name of Steel Audrey. His website says he released a debut self-titled album in July 2012 and a second album in October 2014 called “From Which I Came.”
Hawkesbury Police Det.-Insp. Suzanne Rode-Sanders said the deaths were not being treating as suspicious.
“It appears they had some sort of makeshift heater inside in the cabin and there was not any ventilation, and as a result they may have asphyxiated with carbon monoxide poisoning,” she told the newspaper.
The Canadian Press