Heartbroken friends and family have described Freya Duiker as “a gorgeous young lady” and a “true adventurer” who loved nature.
Heartbroken friends and family have described Freya Duiker as “a gorgeous young lady” and a “true adventurer” who loved nature.

Teen fell to her death from her ‘favourite tree’

A teenage girl found dead at St Kilda Botanic Gardens was an avid climber who had fallen from her "favourite tree".

Freya Duiker, 17, was discovered dead beneath a large tree in the popular gardens in the early hours of January 12.

Heartbroken family and friends have paid tribute to the "true adventurer" who loved nature and had been climbing trees since she was a child.

Her father, Simon Duiker, said Freya filled his world with light and that he wished he could have taken the fall for her.

"The last time I saw you I told you twice that I loved you. You reached out and hugged me," he said.

"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."

Freya was a creative soul who attended Dandenong Ranges Steiner School in her younger years.

 

Freya Duiker, 17, died after falling from a tree at St Kilda Botanic Gardens.
Freya Duiker, 17, died after falling from a tree at St Kilda Botanic Gardens.

She loved exploring nature and was happiest when she was climbing trees.

Her family said in a statement: "Freya was a gorgeous young lady with a sensitivity for nature and animals, her friends, her family and climbing the tallest trees, a true adventurer."

Freya was farewelled by loved ones at a funeral on Monday where her casket was covered in colourful native flowers.

Her best friend Zoe said her friendship with Freya "meant the world" to her.

"One of my fondest memories with Freya was a year into our friendship. We voyaged into the backyard of her childhood home and explored the flowers and vast terrain … that is, until we got scared of noises rustling in the bushes, which Freya believed to be black panthers," she said.

"We would rush toward the nearest and tallest tree and rush to the top. I'll never forget the warm bright smile Freya gave me, looking down as I unsuccessfully tried to climb the first branch."

 

Freya up a tree with friends.
Freya up a tree with friends.

 

Freya‘s friends described her as a true adventurer,
Freya‘s friends described her as a true adventurer,

Another grieving friend told how she and Freya had planned to move in together, adopt a cat and support each other through university at the end of this year.

"I am going to be lost for a while without her," the friend said.

The discovery of Freya's body triggered a huge crime scene response, with police and SES taping off St Kilda Botanic Gardens as they investigated her cause of death.

However it was soon established she died of non-suspicious circumstances.

Freya's memory will be honoured with a garden picnic and beach cleaning session in the coming weeks.

aneeka.simonis@news.com.au

@AneekaSimonis

 

Originally published as Teen girl fell to her death from her 'favourite tree'


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