Britt Lapthorne’s father and brother will set out on their emotional journey to bring her body back to Australia later on Friday.
Dale Lapthorne and son Darren will accompany the 21-year-old backpacker’s remains from Dubrovnik to Melbourne via London, fulfilling their pledge to bring her home.
on Thursday, the Lapthornes and Britt’s boyfriend Simon Imberger held an emotional farewell ceremony, scattering white petals from the back of boat named “Boomerang” into the sea off the Croatian tourist resort where Britt’s body was found 10 days earlier.
Mr Lapthorne sobbed heavily as he mourned the end of a life cut tragically short.
“The worst part is all those missed opportunities, all those things that she wanted to do and will never get the chance,” Lapthorne said shortly before the tribute.
Upon arrival in Melbourne, they will be reunited with Britt’s grieving mother, Elke.
Britt’s father, older brother and Imberger travelled to Dubrovnik to search for her after she disappeared in the early hours of September 18.
Her badly decomposed body was found on October 6 by a local fisherman in the Bay of Boninovo, not far from the Latino Club Fuego night spot where she was last seen alive.
On Thursday, Britt’s father, older brother and her boyfriend sailed from behind the nightclub to the idyllic cove where her body was discovered before marking the spot with rose petals.
The tune “Mansard Roof” by New York indie group Vampire Weekend played over a speaker dock from Britt’s iPod, which was among her belongings left at the hostel where she was staying.
Croatian police released her remains to the family on Monday after an autopsy failed to determine the cause of death.
The Victorian coroner will conduct a second post-mortem examination.
Mrs Lapthorne is expected to attend a candlelight vigil organised by Britt’s friends at Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens on Saturday evening.
A memorial service, which is open to the public, will be held at Whittlesea City office at 1pm (AEDT) on Wednesday.
The family will hold a private funeral service once Britt’s body is released by the Victorian coroner.