Twenty-year-old model Ruslana Korshunova jumped to her death from her ninth-floor Water Street apartment building at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday; the medical examiner's office has officially ruled the case a suicide. It was just days before Korshunova's birthday. A Con Ed worker standing nearby heard the fall and raced over. The New York Post reports:
Cops said there were no signs of a struggle in the one-bedroom apartment, where she lived for only two months. And the balcony from which she plunged had construction netting around it that appeared to have been deliberately ripped.
Korshunova, a green-eyed beauty, known as "The Russian Rapunzel" for her long, flowing chestnut locks, worked with the elite modeling agency IMG, which boasts top models Heidi Klum and Kate Moss.
"Our hearts are with her family," said IMG's representative, Zach Eichman.
Hailing from Kazakhstan, Korshunova had appeared on the covers of French Elle and Russian Vogue and in ads for Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, and Christian Dior. British Vogue called Korshunova "a face to be excited about" in 2005. She was discovered when modeling agent Debbie Jones saw her in an in-flight magazine article about her hometown of Almaty. "She looked like something out of a fairy tale!" Jones told British Vogue. "We had to find her and we searched high and low until we did!"
Friends say in the days before her death, Korshunova felt confused about the direction of her life, lost several pounds, and seemed to suffer from an undefined stomach problem. She left no note; yesterday friends gathered around the spot where she died to mourn.