August 17, 2011 2:21PM
EMILY Spickler was preparing to celebrate her birthday in the place
she called “paradise”.
Instead, her grieving US family has been left searching for answers after the
sudden death of their model daughter at her Toowoomba university campus,
reported The Courier-Mail.
She had arrived just six weeks ago on a one-year exchange.
Emily, who would have turned 20 tomorrow was found dead in her on-campus room
in McGregor College at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba about
6.30pm on Monday.
Post mortem results received Wednesday afternoon have revealed Emily died of
Jeff Spickler, 60, speaking from Shepherdstown, West Virginia, said his
daughter had fallen ill over the weekend but, in her last phone call home, she
had told her parents not to worry.
“We don’t know what happened,” Mr Spickler said.
“Emily had talked to her mother on Sunday and said she was sick, throwing up,
that sort of thing. She thought maybe she had food poisoning. My wife told her
to go to the campus medical facility but it was closed on the weekend.
“So then her mother said to go to the ER (emergency room). Em said she would
see how she felt, but called back later to say she was feeling better.”
Jeff Spickler told the Courier Mail about 7am today Queensland time that the
USQ were making travel arrangements for them to fly to Australia, but he said he
was not yet sure when his family would be leaving.
He said he, his wife Jill and their 16-year-old son Levi would all be coming
to retrieve Emily’s body, before taking her home to Sheperdstown for a
Aidan Burke, USQ Director of Communications, said the university’s travel
office was still working out the travel plans for the Spickler family.
He said USQ would cover the cost of the Spickler family’s flights and
accommodation while in Australia.
“It’s not as simple as getting them a ticket, we also have to get them visas
and things like that,” Mr Burke said.
Mr Spickler said he hoped his family would be able to arrive in Australia by
the end of the week.
“We’re assuming we’ll be there sometime by the weekend or before,” he
Mr Spickler said Jill was trying to ring their daughter on Monday morning (US
time) when the US consulate called to inform them of Emily’s death.
Mr Spickler said his oldest child was loving, compassionate and witty.
“Emily was loving life over there. She thought it was paradise,” he said.
“She loved to meet people, loved to write, loved school and loved modelling.
How much more could you do?”
USQ deputy vice chancellor Professor Graham Baker said the university was
focusing on supporting Miss Spickler’s family and her university friends and
staff and counselling services were available.
University friends of Miss Spickler were expected to hold a small candlelit
vigil late last night at McGregor College.
One of Miss Spickler’s journalism lecturers, Rebecca Te’o, yesterday told how
the sudden death had shocked the “tight-knit” group of students on the
“Emily was a lovely girl and a lovely student. I think she will be missed
across the board,” she said.
Emily was a journalism student at West Virginia University in Morgantown, a
ballet dancer, a model and an aspiring fashion writer.
She arrived in Australia in July in time for university to start, and planned
to stay for a year.
She wrote on her blog about enjoying her stay in Australia, how touched she
was that Australians were so welcoming of international students, and that she
hoped to return to Brisbane for the weekend to celebrate her birthday.
“I’m definitely going to remember their kindness when I go back to my home
university next year, and will hopefully remember to extend the same type of
courtesy to international students,” she wrote on July 17.
Childhood friends Olivia Lloyd, Kristin Sauve, Caroline Miskovsky and Natalie
Snyder, all 20, described Emily as a beautiful, smart and funny person.
“Emily was an incredible person and was really smart – really, really smart,”
Miss Lloyd said.
“She was the sort of person when she believed in something, she really stuck
Miss Lloyd said Emily had always had a passion for writing, even upsetting
parents in Year 5 when she wrote a romance novel.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
Emily Gray Spickler
how she lost her heart’s desire = ER = 59 = Funeral.
find out your own numerology at: