By Mitchell Clarke
The father of a former Emerald student who tragically died after falling from a large tree said she was a “beautiful, beautiful child”.
Freya Duiker’s body was found in the StKilda Botanical Gardens in the early hours of Tuesday 12 January.
The 17-year-old girl used to attend the Dandenong Ranges Steiner School in Emerald.
Her father, Simon Duiker, told the Gazette the family was grieving.
“I have no words at this point. Utterly devastated. Everyone is grieving,” he said.
“We were a close network … Everyone loved Freya.”
Mr Duiker took to Facebook to pay tribute to his daughter in the form of a poem.
“I carried you for years. You are a part of me. If only I could have been there to catch you from falling, I would have taken the fall for you again. And again. And again,” he wrote.
“We carry you in our hearts. Thank you for that precious time, when my world was filled with your light.”
Victoria Police confirmed Ms Duiker died of “non-suspicious circumstances”.