Teen model ‘ended up dead’
THE family of a teenage model who mysteriously plunged to her death from a luxury apartment last month are desperate for answers from the last two people to see her alive.
The naked body of Dutch national Ivana Smit, 18, was found on the balcony of a sixth floor apartment in downtown Kuala Lumpur on December 7.
Malaysian authorities concluded she fell from the balcony of a 20th floor apartment, where American cryptocurrency millionaire Alexander Amado Johnson, 45, lived with his model wife, Luna and their daughter, aged 4.
Local police quickly classified the case as a "sudden death" - the result of an accident or suicide.
They allege that powerful drugs had been found inside the teen's system and that the Johnsons had a wild reputation for hosting drug-fulled swinger parties.
"Ivana had never met this couple before that night," the teen's devastated uncle, Melvin Smit, told news.com.au from his home in the Netherlands.
"She was drinking with the Americans at a club earlier on. And she ended up dead."
The Johnsons were taken into custody and questioned by Malaysian police about events leading up to Ivana's death, and the cocktail of drugs found in her system and in their own blood, but have since been released.
Mr Smit said his niece would never have willingly placed herself in such a risky situation just as her modelling career was about to take off.
She had spent her childhood in Malaysia, living with her grandfather Hendrik Smit in Penang from age two until 16, when she returned to the Netherlands to pursue her modelling career.
Early last year, Ivana landed a spot as a finalist on Top Model Belgium 2018. At the time of her death, she had been back in Kuala Lumpur for work but had been due back in Belgium on December 17 to resume filming for the reality TV show.
"(The Johnsons) have never spoken to us, never written to us to explain what happened, why she died. They have never tried to contact us to say they are sorry that Ivana died," Mr Smit said.
"But we have questions for them. We will pursue the truth and we will not rest until we know exactly what happened."
Unhappy with the way the Malaysian authorities had handled the investigation into Ivana's death, the Smits arranged for internationally respected forensic pathologist Frank van der Goot to perform an independent post mortem examination.
Along with cocaine, Dr van der Goot found traces of the para-Methoxymethamphetamine (pMMA) in Ivana's system. The combination of pMMA - an ecstasy-like drug which also causes hallucinations - with cocaine could be lethal, he said.
Most compelling was an injury to the back of Ivana's head - an 8cm bruise that had been missed during the original autopsy - that was inconsistent with a fall from a great height.
"What I can say at this point is that there is absolutely no doubt that there was a fall from the 20th floor," he told The Daily Beast earlier this week.