National police officials have taken over the case of a Russian woman who “fell” from an eighth-floor condo in Phuket, saying she may have been murdered.
The body of Evgeniia Smirnova, 35, was found about 4:30 a.m. May 31 at the Emerald Terrace condominium off Phra Barami Road in Patong District.
Russian Natalia Kosenkova, 35, and American Jamaal Antwaun Smith, 3, who were with Smirnova at the time, were arrested Wednesday afternoon, while another partyer, Jordanian Ahmad Radi Mustafa Alatoom, 28, was captured at Phuket International Airport earlier in the day trying to flee the province.
The three, who are being held on drug charges, also are suspects in Smirnova’s death, as police said they have not ruled out any cause, including murder. None of the suspects are cooperating with investigators.
Police noted, however, that accidental death also is feasible, as there is an external, spiral staircase connecting the seventh and eighth floor condos from which a drunk and high Smirnova might have fallen. Her body was sent for a forensic examination to determine if she was intoxicated or if there was any other determinative cause of death.
After three days of handling the case on their own, Phuket police were notified that the Royal Police Office in Bangkok would be taking over the investigation. National police chief Pol. Gen. Suwat Chaengyodsuk sent a team to the island to find reliable witnesses and employ forensic techniques to solve the case quickly and accurately.
Polcie said Smirnova arrived in Phuket on May 25. She was staying with the arrested friends in adjoining condos.