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Answers wanted for mystery death

Jessica Pera always dreamed of travelling around Australia.
Jessica Pera always dreamed of travelling around Australia. Contributed

WHEN Jurgen and Monika Pera farewelled their only daughter as she pursued her lifelong dream of travelling around Australia, they had no idea it would be the last time they would see her.

Jessica, 24, arrived in Australia on November 17 and spent time in Sydney, Byron Bay and Brisbane before coming to Bundaberg to work as a fruit picker.

On December 11 — her second day of picking on a Childers farm — she was dead.

The first her parents knew of it was the following day, when they called their daughter’s phone and a police officer answered.

Now, more than three months later, they are still desperate for answers.

“We have been living between heaven and hell these past months,” Mr Pera said.

“We wait every day for answers but they never come.”

Mr Pera said his 24-year-old daughter had been a healthy girl who was an experienced traveller.

“She never drank or smoked or did drugs,” he said.

“She was a very good daughter. She has travelled a lot and she always had the proper checks before she went anywhere.”

Mr Pera said Jessica’s doctor said she was in good condition and health before she left.

“He said there was no reason he could see for her to die,” Mr Pera said.

The grieving father said travelling around Australia had been Jessica’s lifelong dream.

“She was a travel agent and she wanted to travel around Australia for one year so she could specialise in Australian travel when she came home,” he said.

Mr Pera said Jessica had found the heavy work of picking melons tough on her first day, so she opted for picking tomatoes the following day, December 11.

Police and ambulance officers were called to the Farnsfield Road farm at around 2pm after Jessica collapsed, but CPR attempts failed to revive her.

Her body arrived home in Germany on Christmas Eve but her parents still do not know how she died.

“That was not a Christmas or New Year for us,” he said.

“We could not celebrate.”

A spokesperson for the State Coroner’s Office said while an autopsy had been completed, they were still waiting on a report.

“It has been reported to the Bundaberg coroner, who ordered the autopsy, but the cause of death is still unknown,” the spokesperson said.

“This can take weeks or months.”

Mr Pera said he and his wife were desperate for closure.

“It is our greatest wish to get answers,” he said.

“Our daughter is dead and we need to know why.”


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