A "beautiful, fun and vibrant" woman will be laid to rest tomorrow after a swim at an Auckland beach turned fatal.
Millaray Antonia Bravo Ramos, who was from Lautaro in Chile, was found in the water at Torbay on Auckland's North Shore on Wednesday, after going missing on Monday.
Her death is not being treated as suspicious, police confirmed on Friday, and friends believe she got into difficulty while swimming at Waiake Beach.
Ramos, 28, had lived in New Zealand for more than two years and had loved living in Torbay because it reminded her of her home country, her friend Henrik Stovring said.
Ramos rented a room from Stovring, sharing the home with his three young children, who he said adored her.
"This week when I put the kids to bed the youngest one on Wednesday night the last thing she said was 'oh I miss her so much, I miss sitting drawing with her'," he told the Herald.
"It's been really tough in terms of that, we all miss her a lot."
He described her as fun, bubbly and always smiling.
"She never called me Henrik … she always called me Henry. All I've got in my head when I think of her is her saying to me, 'oh don't worry Henry'," he said laughing.
"It was like her opinion to everything, 'everything is going to be alright, and everything happens for a reason, it's all going to be good'."
Stovring said when he returned home on Monday night, he thought something was strange. Even though Ramos would often go away with friends for a few days, he said the fact she had left her bedroom door open, and her phone and computer open on her bed, made him think something was different.
"It looked like she'd just left to come back again a short time later."
When she didn't return on Tuesday, he tried messaging her and then followed up with friends on Wednesday. By that night, he raised the alarm with police.
"An hour later they were here," he said, and delivered the news her body had been found.
She was spotted near a buoy in the water at Waiake Beach, he said, but it wasn't clear yet whether it had played a factor in her death.
Stovring said he has played out Monday in his mind, wondering if he could have done anything to change things.
"If I had been at home earlier on Monday morning would I have seen her? Would she have told me that she had gone to the beach and I would have known a lot quicker that something was wrong?"
In an online tribute to Ramos, Stovring described her as a "beautiful person" who had made lots of friends in her time in New Zealand.
"In the time Millaray lived with us at our house she became part of our small family, baking birthday cakes for the children, helping out whenever possible, and always putting a smile on our faces when she was around."
He and his children will lay flowers at the beach tomorrow morning to pay their respects to Ramos.
"We want to do this for us and for her, that's our way of saying goodbye."
Ramos was involved in Auckland's Latin American community and dance scene, and tributes have been flowing from those she knew in the city.
She was described as "beautiful, fun and vibrant", by Anaiss Ramirez in a post on the Latinos En Auckland Facebook page.
Others described her as "a beautiful girl, full of life", and a "tremendous woman".
Friends in Auckland have started a fund to raise money to repatriate Ramos back to her family in Chile.
A Latin American dance event is being held tonight from 7.30pm at Viva Dance in Grey Lynn to raise money for the fund. A post promoting the event encourages people to "have a dance together in her remembrance".
A Spanish mass will be held at St Benedict's Church in Eden Terrace tomorrow morning.
Emergency services were called to Waiake Beach at 12.30pm on Wednesday. The police dive squad recovered her body from the water about 200m offshore later that night.
Yesterday police said a postmortem had been carried out and her death was not being treated as suspicious. Her death will be referred to the Coroner.