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Sunday, 6 April 2008
The body of a 32-year-old Co Louth man who died in Thailand after allegedly taking a cocktail of drugs is expected back in Ireland today.Police said yesterday they had closed the file on the death of Elliot Blake (32), who died while on a round-the-world trip with his girlfriend.Mr Blake, who was understood to be living in Navan, Co Meath, died in a guest house in the early hours of last Monday after he was found staggering on the street.His girlfriend, Claire Duignan (23), from Westmeath, woke in the Top North guest house in the northern Thai capital of Chiang Mai to discover his body.Despite efforts to revive him, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police in Thailand said yesterday there was no evidence of foul play in Mr Blake’s death. However, the results of a post- mortem have not been released.The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed his death, and said it was providing assistance to his family. A spokeswoman refused to comment further, saying it was a private matter.His girlfriend told police that Mr Blake had been a heroin user in Ireland, and had acquired the substitute methadone from a local hospital.“Earlier in the evening we went out for some food and a few drinks, but nothing much,” Ms Duignan said yesterday.“We came back to the guest house and I went to the room, while Elliot stayed downstairs watching TV.“When I left him he was quite normal, then much later when he didn’t come back to the room I went looking for him.“I found him on a nearby road staggering back to the guest house. He was completely different from when I left him and I had to help him back to the room. When I woke up I didn’t realise he had died. I poured water on his face to wake him up but it didn’t work.“We’ve been travelling for a year now, Elliot used to use heroin in Ireland but since we’ve been traveling he hasn’t. When we got to Chiang Mai he went to a hospital and got some methadone.”It is understood Mr Blake may have combined methadone with valium, which led to his death. Chiang Mai is a popular destination with backpackers.
Mr Blake’s family travelled to Thailand earlier in the week to arrange for his body to be flown home.The couple had decided to travel around south-east Asia, and local sources said it was easy to access drugs in Chiang Mai.