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Devastated family of a woman found dead in Gympie, Queensland bushland speak out

The grieving family of a popular young woman found dead in bushland are desperately searching for answers days after her body was found, with her phone still mysteriously missing and police not telling them how she died.

Gympie woman Sarah Brown, 23, left her Victory Heights home around 6pm on June 7 to buy a bottle of wine – but never returned.

Her lifeless body was found by a friend in nearby bushland on Monday, wearing make-up and ‘dressed to go out’ in a summer dress and thongs.  

Mystery still surrounds what happened to Ms Brown as her grieving family plead for answers from police, who confirmed they are not treating her death as suspicious.

Her phone hasn’t been recovered, which could provide key information about her final hours. 

‘Horrible things have happened in my life but this is worst ever,’ her grandmother Margaret Reidy, 76, told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘I wouldn’t wish on any parent or grandparent what we’re going through. Sarah didn’t deserve to die.’

Sarah Brown (pictured) had posted she was feeling ‘positive’ just hours before she went missing on June 7

She revealed police still haven’t told the family what happened to their beloved girl, and ‘did nothing’ to help find her for several days – despite her body eventually being found close to where she went missing. 

Queensland Police told Daily Mail Australia late Thursday night Ms Brown’s death is not being treated as suspicious, pending the results of a post mortem, and will prepare a report for the coroner.

But Ms Reidy is adamant her granddaughter would not take her own life, despite having lost her way several times though struggles with drugs, alcohol and mental health.

In a haunting last message on social media, Ms Brown posted on Facebook that she was ‘feeling positive’ just six hours before she disappeared on June 7. 

‘No, I wouldn’t think so, she was a happy kid,’ Ms Reidy said.

‘I wouldn’t suspect she’d do such a thing.’

Ms Brown left the house without her beloved dog, who went everywhere with her. 

Margaret Reidy (centre) said her daughter Janet Gardner (right) had an unbreakable bond with her daughter Sarah (left)

Margaret Reidy (centre) said her daughter Janet Gardner (right) had an unbreakable bond with her daughter Sarah (left)

Police have confirmed they're not treating Sarah Brown's death as suspicious after her body was found in bushland

Police have confirmed they’re not treating Sarah Brown’s death as suspicious after her body was found in bushland

Ms Reidy recalled Ms Brown being happy, laughing, joking and in high spirits as she mowed the lawn for her grandmother the last time she’d seen her a month earlier.

At the time of her death, Ms Brown had been staying with friends after fleeing a volatile relationship.

‘Sarah was homeless and had no else to go,’ Ms Reidy said.

‘She couldn’t find direction and often lost her way.’

‘But then she was granted a place through the department of housing. She was all set to move in and had arranged to go and see it with her mum the day after she disappeared.’

Sarah Brown appeared to be in positive spirits several hours before she disappeared. Pictured is her last Facebook post

Sarah Brown appeared to be in positive spirits several hours before she disappeared. Pictured is her last Facebook post

Ms Reid’s daughter Janet Gardner is struggling to comes to the terms with the sudden death of her youngest child, whom she had an ‘unbreakable’ bond with.

She arrived in Gympie to visit Ms Brown on the day she went missing and arranged to meet the next day to check her daughter’s new place.

But Sarah never rang.

‘Sarah would ring her mum at least one or twice a day,’ Ms Reidy said.

‘We’re all devastated over Sarah’s death but my daughter has fallen to pieces and is in a bad place right now. Sarah was the love of her life.’

The family have demanded more answers from police regarding Ms Brown’s death.

Sarah Brown (pictured) was temporarily living with friends at the time of her death and had secured her own housing

Sarah Brown (pictured) was temporarily living with friends at the time of her death and had secured her own housing

They claim police did nothing for several days after Ms Brown was first reported missing, as the family launched a desperate search and appealed for public assistance on social media.

Family also questioned why it took a week for Ms Brown’s body to be found so close to her home and say even her phone hasn’t yet been found.

‘Her body was found in the other direction she was headed towards,’ Ms Reidy said.

‘Surely someone must have seen something.’ 

‘Her life could have been saved had she been found sooner.’ 

Funeral plans are also up in the air as Ms Brown’s body is yet to be released to back to the family.

They plan to hold the funeral and bury Ms Brown on the Gold Coast where she grew up, and was her favourite place.

Margaret Reidy doesn't believe her granddaughter Sarah Brown (pictured) took her own life

Margaret Reidy doesn’t believe her granddaughter Sarah Brown (pictured) took her own life

The family are also determined to ensure Ms Brown’s legacy lives on forever.

‘Sarah’s death won’t be in vain,’ Ms Reidy told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Her mother wants to set up a foundation to help women who are homeless, suffered violence or have fallen on tough times.

‘We’re determined to ensure Sarah’s life had meaning. We’ll never forget our Sair.’

Ms Reidy remembered her granddaughter as a talented artist, painter and piano player who was well-liked and had many friends.

‘She shone like a bright light,’ she said.

‘She was no shrinking violet and always made her presence felt.

She was good fun and often had us in hysterics.’ 

‘She loved animals, kind to everyone and would defend anyone in need. She was one who always defended the underdog.’  

The body of Sarah Brown (pictured) was found on Monday, a week after she disappeared by a devastated mate - with family claiming the police were inactive in the search

The body of Sarah Brown (pictured) was found on Monday, a week after she disappeared by a devastated mate – with family claiming the police were inactive in the search

Janet Gardner (left) was very close to her youngest daughter Sarah Brown (right) - whose body was found a week after she went missing

Janet Gardner (left) was very close to her youngest daughter Sarah Brown (right) – whose body was found a week after she went missing

Ms Gardner also described her daughter as a special girl with a gorgeous heart. 

‘Sarah had the lot, she had the looks, the academics, she was gifted in piano, she’s won prizes for drawings, she had the heart and protected people who couldn’t, she stood up to the blokes when no one else could,’ Ms Gardner told the Gympie Times. 

Shattered friends have posted heartfelt tributes on Ms Brown’s Facebook page following her tragic death

‘Rest In Peace beautiful, I will forever hold on to our late night conversations – such a beautiful soul taken way to soon. It breaks my heart,’ one wrote.

Another added: ‘I can’t believe it gorgeous. I know I haven’t seen you since we were kids but I will love you and remember you forever.’

A family friend has set up a GoFundMe page to raise enough money for Ms Gardner to give her daughter the send-off she deserves, which has already raised almost $2,900.

‘As anyone that knew Sarah knows she was a special girl, an empathic soul, a gentle and beautiful young woman only to have her life cut short so suddenly,’ the page states. 

For 24/7 confidential support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. 

Family and friends described Sarah Brown (pictured) as special and having a gorgeous heart

Family and friends described Sarah Brown (pictured) as special and having a gorgeous heart

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk