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Body of US Woman Found in Australian Tree
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A tourist to Australia from the United States, who was missing since November, has been found dead in a tree. Her body was decomposing for an undetermined length of time. She was working in Australia as a live-in nanny and supposedly committed suicide.

The girl’s remains, those of 22-year-old Melissa Dietzel, were found by a tree surgeon back on the 12th of January. Dietzel is from Redlands, California. Her body was discovered in a tree in the Randwick location of Sydney after people reported smelling a foul odor coming from the tree in which she was found.


Dietzel had to be identified using her dental records, her missing person records, and her clothing from the United States. Police said that Dietzel, contrary to earlier reports, was not living in the tree in which she was found. Dietzel arrived in Australia in November while traveling on a visa upon completion of her education at Brigham Young University in Utah.

‘She was big about the outdoors so she was stoked about being in Australia,’ an anonymous friend of Dietzel said. ‘She was the one that cheered everyone up and talked to everyone.’

‘She always made me smile when I was having a horrid day,’ an unidentified friend wrote on Facebook. ‘She also gave fabulous hugs. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most.’

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It is not known how long Dietzel was dead in the tree, which could have been anywhere from two to three weeks. January 4 is when residents started to complain about the foul smell in the tree. The residents originally thought the smell was caused by a dead possum or another animal.

The tree where Dietzel’s body was found has since been removed because it was contaminated. The investigation of her death is being handled as a suicide and not as a suspicious death. Police detectives said that when the body was found, it was so decomposed that Dietzel’s fingerprints could not be seen.

A woman who lived near the tree, Danyane Bowing, said that Dietzel might have walked through her garden and climbed into the tree on New Year’s Eve.

‘I’m no expert on decomposing bodies in summer time,’ she said. ‘But when I went out around the start of the New Year I remember thinking something smelled dead.’

Dietzel had been working as a nanny in Australia but was released by her host family. She came from a family of eight siblings and was missing for over a month when her body was found.


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