Melissa Joy Dietzel, American Tourist Body Found in Tree

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By Stacey Eldridge , Christian Post Contributor
February 13, 2012|5:21 pm

The body of a young woman found decomposing inside a 30 ft oak tree in Sydney, Australia, was identified Monday as American tourist and live-in nanny Melissa Joy Dietzel, 22.

On January 12, a tree surgeon made the grisly discovery inside the tree in the Randwick suburb of Sydney, after a foul odor was reported coming from the area.

According to The (Sydney) Daily Telegraph, the identity of the girl was unknown for a number of weeks, until the American brands of clothing she was wearing, lead police to discover her identity.

U.S authorities put together the missing pieces, when Australian detectives consulted with them, and the authorities were able to identify her through dental records and missing person's files.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, her family in Redlands, Calif., said she had been missing for over a month when her body was found. It is believed she committed suicide.

Last October, after graduating from Utah's Brigham Young University, Dietzel traveled to Sydney to work as a live-in-nanny.

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"She was big about the outdoors so she was stoked about being [in Australia]. She went to the national parks a lot," a friend told the newspaper.

According to reports however, she wound up homeless after being fired from her job as a Sydney nanny, and was believed to be living in the oak tree.

Authorities say that her body was so decomposed in the Australian heat of summer, that her fingerprints may not have even been visible.

They say her body may have been inside the tree for up to two weeks before it was discovered, which would match reports by neighbors.

Danyane Bowing, 35, who lived beside the tree says she could smell something odd in the area since New Year's Day, and thought Dietzel may have climbed her fence into the tree.

 

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