KUALA LUMPUR: The death of Dutch model Ivana Esther Robert Smit has sparked widespread interest - both in Malaysia and abroad - demanding for the truth behind her passing.
A campaign has since been launched on social media, with the hashtag #truthforivana and #justiceforivana, was started by Smit’s close friend, 19-year-old Natalie Woodworth.
Checks on social media revealed that a donation page has also been set up to fund a Dutch pathologist to travel here to determine the cause of Smit’s death, whether it was an accident or otherwise.
The page claimed that about €4,000 (RM19,301) is needed for the pathologist’s travel expenses, along with an American researcher who is keen on assisting in the case.
Facebook user Menniej Everts posted the link, along with the #truthforivana hashtag, saying that there were many questions unanswered and even small donations from the people could help the victim’s family in finding justice.
Another user, Tanya Tesoro, posted that the netizens would not stop sharing the story and would keep the campaign going.
Kaela Ruble, in a post, said she does not believe that what happened to Smit was an accident, and it was important for them to uncover the truth to get justice for the deceased.
“It is important to uncover the truth of what happened to get justice for Ivana and help raise awareness and prevent this from happening to more people in the future.
“If you are ever at a party and you see someone being taken home by people and it looks at all suspicious, please step in or say something. It can be life or death,” she said.
On Dec 7, Smit was found dead on a sixth floor balcony of an apartment block in Jalan Dang Wangi. She had been living with an American man and his Kazakh wife on the 20th floor.
Police said traces of drugs were found in her system.
The husband and wife also tested positive for drugs, and were charged on Monday with drug abuse.
The 44-year-old man, reportedly a cryptocurrency trader, pleaded not guilty to the charges, while his 30-year-old wife pleaded guilty.
A source confirmed that the couple were still being held at the Sungai Buloh and Kajang prisons.
Asked if the case has been reclassified, the source said it was still being investigated as sudden death, as investigators have yet to receive the results of the pathology report from Chemistry Department.
They have, however requested for the department to expedite the process.
The police had initially ruled out foul play and classified the case as sudden death, but the victim’s father, Marcel Smit, had claimed there were bruises on the girl’s neck.
It is learnt that police had interviewed Marcel, with the help of an interpreter, on Monday.
Dang Wangi police chief Assistant Commissioner Shaharuddin Abdullah had said the police would reclassify the case if criminal elements were involved.
He had also urged those with information to step forward to help the police in their investigation.