Malaysia releases Dutch model's body

The Malaysian police released the body of Dutch model Ivana Smit on Thursday. The 18-year-old woman's body is now with a funeral director in Kuala Lumpur. When she will return to the Netherlands is not yet clear, but her family believes it will be soon. "The hope now is that the repatriation will happen quickly and without obstacles. We are extremely happy about this news", her father Marcel said to the Telegraaf.

Ivana Smit died in Kuala Lumpur on December 7th after a night out with an American couple. She fell from the 20th floor of an apartment building. Her nude body was found on a balcony on the 6th floor. The local authorities initially assumed her death was an accident, but her family does not believe it.

Why the Malaysian authorities now decided to release the body, is not exactly clear. "The priority is now returning Ivana to the Netherlands", lawyer Sebas Diekstra, who is assisting the Smit family in finding out what happened to their daughter, said to the Telegraaf. "Only then the question of how the parents can obtain further information about the circumstances of Ivana's death will be dealt with." He called the circumstances in which the young woman died "extremely suspicious".

On Wednesday Diekstra, on behalf of the family, asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help in getting Ivana's body released. The Ministry said that they "hope there will quickly be clarity about what happened", but can't do anything more for the family, RTL Nieuws reports. The investigation is in the hands of the Malaysian police. The Dutch embassy already did everything possible to support the parents and help mediate between them and the Malaysian authorities, the Ministry said. And the parents' concerns were expressed to Malaysia.