Friends puzzled by model’s suspected suicide

The body of a model nicknamed the Russian Rapunzel has arrived in Moscow. Ruslana plunged from her ninth floor apartment in a Manhattan high rise, in what police say was almost certainly suicide. She died four days before turning 21.

Her death sent shock waves through New York. People are grieving, laying flowers and lighting candles at the place where she used to live.

The stunning Kazakh beauty lived a life that millions dream of. She appeared on the covers of Elle and Vogue magazines, walked the runways of Paris and Milan, and traveled all over the world.

All that ended on Saturday.

Her death is under investigation. However police do not suspect any foul play. A hole in the construction netting around her balcony raised speculation that Ruslana had prepared her suicide, although the model did not leave a note.

One of Ruslana’s neighbours, Katra, says she didn’t seem to be depressed: “I met her in the laundry room on several occasions and we talked. And she used to kid me about the fact that I did some modelling years ago. And she was a beautiful girl. I didn’t see any examples of drug use, or anything like that”.

Friends and loved ones are devastated and confused by what happened. They say Ruslana loved life too much to end it.