A Russian model found dead after an 18-metre fall from her hotel balcony is at the centre of a baffling mystery.
Sofia Olifrenko, 24, died instantly after plummeting from her fifth-floor room in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 18. It is unclear if she accidentally fell, was pushed or took her own life.
CCTV footage shot earlier in the day shows the young model staggering down a pathway, holding onto a wall for support.
A Turkish man — who had arrived with her — was taken into custody by local police but later released.
"I don't know the woman's name, we met on the street. She was crying," the man, named only as F. K. in local media, said in his police statement.
"I took her to her hotel room."
He claimed that she appeared to be very drunk and could barely walk.
Local media reported that Sofia, who married Romanian male model Istvan Sarkozy in February, had checked into the hotel under the false name of Alexandra V.
Istvan said his wife arrived in Istanbul on May 9 for modelling work, but he had lost all contact with her three days before her death.
Turkish media reported that Sofia might have had problems with her husband because she thought he was cheating on her.
They also reported that the young woman had mental health issues and was using antidepressants.
But Istvan denied this, claiming that his wife did not use drugs or alcohol during the time they were together.
"We lived in peace and quiet," he said in a statement obtained by Newsflash.
Istvan pointed the finger of blame at Star Models Istanbul.
Husband blames modelling agency
"My wife went to work as a model at the mentioned agency, where she had also worked in May 2021, so the agency is to blame for everything that happened," he claimed.
"The agency, instead of posting about Sofia, deleted pictures of her. Can you believe how heartless these people are?"
After travelling to Istanbul to identify Sofia's body at the morgue, Istvan said he returned home to Oradea, Romania, "with a great pain in [his] soul".
At the time of reporting, Sofia's body was due to be repatriated to Russia at her family's request.
"She was a wonderful person, full of life and always smiling," Istvan said.
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