On 9 December, early Saturday morning, a 19-year-old fell to her death from the balcony of the 20th floor of a condominium at Jalan Dang Wangi in Kuala Lumpur. While the condition in which her body was found on the balcony of the sixth floor raised suspicion, local police ruled out foul play, classifying the case as sudden death.
The 19-year-old was Ivana Esther Robert Smit, a model with Dutch and Belgian ancestry. Her body was found completely naked on the balcony of the sixth floor of the upscale Jalan Dang Wangi condo.
Prior to her death, Ivana had been out drinking with the owner of the unit, who is an American, and his Kazakhstan wife at an entertainment outlet in Bangsar.
It was reported that while they all three returned to the unit together, the couple went to sleep in their room, and Ivana rested in the living room.
According to reports, while the couple slept, the model fell 14 stories to her death.
While the circumstances surrounding Ivana's death seemed suspicious, Dang Wangi police chief Assistant Commissioner Shaharuddin Abdullah said that they found no criminal elements in the case and classified the case as sudden death.
However, Ivana's family has raised concerns
According to her father, Marcel Smit, Ivana had exchanged messages with her boyfriend at around 7.25am, telling him about her whereabouts. She had also sent him a selfie in which she was completely clothed, her father told news outlet AD.
Ivana is believed to have fallen down at around 10am. According to her father, the couple did not contact the police until 3pm, approximately five hours after the accident is thought to have happened and her body discovered 14 floors below.
Her father pointed out that while Ivana was tall, at 181cm, the balcony at the condo had a 120cm high barricade. He said that even if she were to lean or bend over, an accidental fall seemed unlikely, adding that he believes Ivana had been pushed.
He claims to have seen strangulation marks around her neck and that neighbours on the 20th floor had heard shouting and arguments in the apartment block that morning.
"The police are doing nothing with that information and just want to close up the case quickly. Her clothes have been found, but her shoes and underwear haven't. The police haven’t looked at her mobile phones. The police also won't say if they found evidence of sexual intercourse. We want a thorough investigation. If it turns out it was an accident or a reckless act by Ivana, we can live with that," Dutch News quoted the family as saying.
Following the concerns raised by the Dutch model's family, the Dutch embassy in Malaysia has now requested the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) to investigate her death
According to a report in the Malay Mail Online, Ivana's father, Marcel had said he had requested, through the Dutch embassy, for Interpol to investigate her death.
Diplomats from the Dutch embassy also met with federal police to convey Marcel's concerns, the Malay Mail Online reported, adding that the police are reviewing the case and may reclassify Ivana's case from sudden death to murder, manslaughter or death by misadventure after pathology results are obtained.
However, while a request has been made to Interpol, the Malay Mail Online reported that "For now, the CID will handle the case"