Cops may reclassify Dutch model’s death after father alleges foul play

By Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
A representative of the family of Dutch model Ivana Smit has claimed her body, said a police source. — Picture courtesy of Instagram/Ivana Smit

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Police are reviewing the death of Dutch supermodel Ivana Esther Robert Smit as evidence emerged yesterday of a booze and drug-fuelled party before her nude body was found in an apartment balcony off Jalan Dang Wangi.

The 19-year-old’s father Marcel has also alleged foul play in her death, claiming there were bruises on her neck.

Police met Hospital Kuala Lumpur pathologists to review their findings and are awaiting further test results on samples obtained from the victim.

This came about after an American and his Kazakh wife, who lived in the apartment building where Ivana’s body was found, were produced in court on Monday to face charges for drug abuse after positive urine tests.

Sources told Malay Mail a decision to reclassify Ivana’s case from sudden death to murder, manslaughter or death by misadventure would be made after pathology results are obtained.

“Investigations are still ongoing and crime scene investigators have visited the apartment where the victim was last seen,” the source said.

For now, the death of Ivana, who held Dutch and Belgian citizenship, would be treated as sudden death.

The review of investigation papers also came about when it was found that the other occupants of the 20th floor apartment unit where Ivana was last seen were found to be under the influence of drugs.

Ivana’s nude body was found on the sixth floor balcony of The Capsquare Residences about 3pm last Thursday.

She had reportedly fallen from a 20th floor unit where she lived with the American and his Kazakh wife.

The three had reportedly partied all night and returned before dawn.

“Following initial investigations into the death, the couple had their statements taken and urine samples tested.

“The samples returned positive for amphetamines and the couple was charged in court,” said the source.

Both husband and wife pleaded not guilty, and have been released on bail pending their reappearance at a later date.

Though they have been charged for drug abuse, police have withheld the couple’s identities as they still remain persons of interest in investigations into Ivana’s death.

Besides claims of strangulation marks, Marcel was quoted in Dutch media as saying he believed his daughter had been pushed from the upper floor apartment unit.

Reports also claimed Ivana had sent a message and a selfie to her boyfriend around 7.25am on Thursday, seven hours before she was found dead.

Marcel had said he had requested, through the Dutch embassy, for Interpol to investigate the death.

“For now, the CID will handle the case,” said the source.

It is understood diplomats from the Dutch embassy had met with federal police to convey Marcel’s concerns.

Marcel was also quoted as saying that neighbours on the 20th floor had heard shouting and argument from the unit where the couple and Ivana lived.

Ivana first moved to Malaysia 13 years ago and grew up with her grandfather Fredrik in Penang.

The model, who has appeared on advertisments for companies like Chanel, only recently moved to the city to advance her career.

At the age of 15, Ivana was second runner-up in the Malaysia Supermodel Search 2014.