Breaking News

Body of US Woman Found in Australian Tree
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

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.’

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

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.



Immigration Attorney


Full-time Contract Attorney for Hispanic Non-profit Organization in Alexandria, Virginia. Immigratio...

Apply now

Legal Secretary - Corporate / Transactional

USA-CA-San Luis Obispo

Thriving law practice with offices in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles seeks a full-time legal secret...

Apply now



Full Job Description The ideal candidate will possess the following: 1-5 years of litigation e...

Apply now

Legal Assistant / Paralegal


Zarco Einhorn Salkowski & Brito, P.A. Franchise/Complex Commercial Litigation AV Rated Law Firm is ...

Apply now




Search Now

Mid-level Corporate Associate Attorney


Boston office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks mid-level corporate associate attor...

Apply Now

Workers Compensation Defense Attorney

USA-CA-San Francisco

San Francisco office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks workers compensation defense...

Apply Now

Workers Compensation Defense Attorney-Subrogation


Oakland office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks workers compensation defense attor...

Apply Now


To Top