Sydney, Australia – The body found decomposing in a tree in Sydney has been positively identified as a missing American woman who allegedly committed suicide.
Residents living near an oak tree in Sydney had complained about the smell of something dead in the tree, but figured it was a possum or cat. They never suspected it was the decomposing body of 22-year-old Melissa Joy Dietzel, an American woman who had been missing for almost a month. I’m assuming the tree surgeon who found her body 30 ft up the tree didn’t suspect it either.
Dietzel was in Australia on a six-month working Visa that expired this May, working as a family’s live-in nanny. That family had to let Dietzel go after she refused to see doctors over her increasingly strange behavior and the fact that she was hearing voices. She told her host family that she had to get back to America anyway as the voices had told her that her parents were dying.
Her father commented on this Huffington Post article that after leaving that family, she went to stay with a friend but no one knows exactly when or why Dietzel chose to climb that particular tree. Investigators believe she had been in the tree for two weeks before she was found. One neighbor who lives near the tree thinks Dietzel may have walked through her garden on New Year’s Eve to get to the tree that has since been removed, along with the fence underneath it.
Bipolar disorder ran in Dietzel’s family. Her mother struggled with it and her 24-year-old brother, who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, killed himself three years ago. But Dietzel did not begin exhibiting any symptoms of the disorder until 2010. That’s when she began having trouble sleeping and would often talk endlessly. When her family expressed concerns, Dietzel told them there was nothing to worry about, that these were simply the resymptoms of being a university student.
Her family had not heard from her since November, despite numerous attempts to contact her, and figured that she just wanted her space and would return when she was ready. Those thoughts of Dietzel returning home alive vanished when police contacted them last week, asking for her dental records.
Mental illness sucks. Especially when it keeps the person suffering from it from realizing they are suffering from it.Tags: Australia, Crime, Melissa Joy Dietzel, mental illness, Suicide