KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 — The family of the late Dutch model Ivana Esther Robert Smit has petitioned Netherland’s foreign ministry to help facilitate the release of her body by Malaysian authorities.
In a letter filed by their lawyers, they asked the ministry to seek Malaysia’s permission for them to claim her body and the findings of the investigation into her death here so far.
Malay Mail obtained a copy of the letter written in Dutch, issued by the family’s lawyer, Sébas Diekstra, on behalf of father Marcel Smit and his wife, C. Verstappen.
“Ivana’s cause of death is still unknown, and a thorough investigation appears to be absent in this case.
“Since then the family has been living a nightmare,” the family continued.
It also recounted the Smits’ trip here on Dec 8 following her death, and their return home in frustration over the alleged lack of information.
Ivana’s body was also not released despite her body being found earlier this month, they asserted.
“This and the entire course of events following the incident have been unbearable for the family.
“Ivana’s father collapsed from an apparent heart attack during the weekend he returned from Malaysia and is currently under medication,” the family continued.
They then pleaded with the Dutch ministry to intercede for Ivana’s body to be released and for Malaysian authorities to provide all information they have on the case.
Separately, a police source told Malay Mail clearance was already given for the teen model’s body to be claimed.
“We had informed the Dutch embassy last week that the family were allowed to claim her body. I am not aware of the reason why they have yet to claim her remains,” said the source.
On December 7, the 18-year-old body was found naked on the balcony of a sixth floor condominium unit, off Jalan Dang Wangi.
She was believed to have fallen from the balcony of a 20th storey unit belonging to an American man and his Kazakh wife.
The case was initially classified as sudden death, but was reopened for further investigations upon the discovery of new evidence.
Marcel Smit previously told Malay Mail the family wanted a second autopsy performed on his daughter.
Police have recorded statements from 48 people in the review, but said the case remains sudden death.
Authorities urged those with information to contact ASP Faizal Abdullah, the investigating officer at 012-4834439/03-26002222 or DSP M. Gunalan, Dang Wangi Criminal Investigations Department chief at 019-3114418.