The 19-year-old woman who died during an out-of-control party in a Melbourne apartment building has been remembered as a “quiet person” who was an eldest sibling and “kept her family together”.
The young woman from Pakenham, named by News Corp Australia as Laa Chol, died in the short-term stay unit on the 56th floor of the EQ Tower, early on Saturday morning.
“She’s not known for causing trouble, she doesn’t rent hotels or go to parties, this was a one-off,” a family friend told News Corp.
On Facebook, another friend said Ms Chol was “such a beautiful soul & didn’t deserve any of this”.
Another person said the teen was “such a positive and bright young lady”.
“Always showed loved to everyone around you and anyone new you met,” they wrote.
It’s unclear who attacked the woman or what her injuries were, but police said a number of young people left the party immediately afterwards.
Police have questioned a dozen people who were part of the two groups involved in the fight – but are yet to make any arrests.
Asked whether the culprit or culprits were among the 12 people interviewed, Commander Tim Hansen said “I don’t think so”, AAP reports.
“(It was a) fairly chaotic scene, there was obviously a number of people out the front,” he told reporters.
“It would be fair to say they were upset, obviously, and quite emotive. However, the police members were never threatened or challenged and took control of the scene pretty quickly.”
The 19-year-old died at the apartment shortly after 5am following a dispute between a group which had hired it out and another arriving later.
It’s unclear what brought the second group to the apartment but Commander Hansen said there was no sign of forced entry.
Support was being offered to the African-Australian community, of which the victim and partygoers were members, he added.
About a quarter of the EQ Tower apartments are short-term stays, according to Melbourne Real Estate which manages rentals in the A’Beckett St address.
One of its residents, Sean, said it was a growing problem in the tower.
“This is a tragedy that sadly has been building and building over the last few months,” he said.
“What we’re seeing increasingly is these parties of youths getting out of control.
“They seem to come and go at short notice. Many of them are obviously intoxicated or on other substances.
“As residents, we feel intimidated that we’re unable to ask them to keep the noise down.”
Another man said that at the beginning of the night he saw a few girls in the EQ Tower lobby and a group of young men “running and yelling” outside around 4am or 5am.