A friend of a young American woman whose body was found in a tree 10 metres off the ground at Randwick near Sydney says she was the ''sweetest, nicest person'' and known for her hugs and infectious laughter. Melissa Joy Dietzel, 22, was living in St Ives on Sydney's north shore on a work visa and had been employed as a live-in nanny.
Her decomposing body was found by a council worker 10 metres up a tree next to an apartment block in Prince Lane, a small residential lane in Randwick, on January 12. Police, who discovered her identity through dental records, are not treating her death as suspicious. They added that she had not been living in the tree and was not homeless.
Ms Dietzel, from Redlands in California, travelled to Sydney in October or November after studying elementary education at Brigham Young University in Utah, her friend, who asked to remain anonymous, said. ''She was big about the outdoors so she was stoked about being [in Australia]. She went to the national parks a lot.''
The friend said Ms Dietzel had been working as a nanny in Sydney but had been let go by the family who employed her. Her family in the US said she had been missing for more than a month when her body was found.