KUALA LUMPUR – The family of the Dutch teen model who fell to her death from a condominium unit here last week have started a crowdfunding campaign to fund their own investigation into the incident.
Malaysian police have classified it as sudden death but are relooking the case after the family of Ivana Esther Robert Smit, 18, alleged that there could have been foul play. The Dutch embassy has also asked Interpol to investigate.
Ivana’s family are trying to raise €5,000 (RM24,113) through crowdfunding to bring a Dutch pathologist and an American investigator here to determine the circumstances that led to her fall from a building in the nude.
“Donations are needed for the funding of the pathologist and researcher who will travel to Malaysia to determine the cause of death, if it was an accident or a crime,” the family wrote on the Dutch crowdfunding site, Doneeractie.
“Please help the Smit family to find out the true facts about the tragic death of their daughter, sister, and niece, Ivana Smit.”
The model fell from the window of a 20th floor unit of an apartment and landed on the balcony of a 6th-floor unit, on Jalan Dang Wangi, here.
Police believed she was intoxicated at the time. Smit was said to have been in the apartment with an American man and his Kazakhstan wife.
DutchNews said police had also told the family that Ivana was intoxicated at the time and blood tests revealed traces of alcohol, ecstasy and amphetamines in her system.
According to the DutchNews portal, camera footage from the apartment had shown Smit entering the building with her American hosts at around 5am. She was said to have fallen off the balcony at around 10am.
“Her last communication was a selfie sent to her boyfriend at around 7.25am, in which she said she had gone home with an American couple after a night out,” the report said.
Her father claimed that that neighbours heard shouting and arguments from the apartment unit in question that morning.
On Tuesday, Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Shaharuddin Abdullah said the case was being re-examined by investigators because of her family’s suspicion of foul play.
“The case remains classified as sudden death for now. However, if we find incriminating evidence that indicates foul play in her death, we will reclassify the case. As of now we have yet to find this and we are also waiting for the full post-mortem report to be ready,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of her close friends has started a Facebook campaign to urge the authorities to give a cleared picture of what happened.
“Ivana has a lot of friends, and we’re all devastated so we want justice for her and we want to find out the truth about what really happened,” Woodworth said.