CURRENT ISSUE APRIL 1, 2002  

COVER STORY: HIGH SOCIETY

The Slow Steps To Death At The Hyatt
Natasha Singh's final steps began at the porch of the Hyatt Regency, and police say, ended on the hotel's seventh floor air-conditioning ducts. Then came her plunge to death.
1 Suite 265 on the 2nd floor and its private terrace are familiar to Natasha. She tries to go to the terrace through a fire exit, is spotted breaking door handle.
BUT: How did the handle give way so easily?

2 She proceeds to take the elevator to the 7th floor, makes her way from the guest lobby to the service corridor, takes a flight of steps and enters the roof through a door that is mysteriously left open.
BUT: Where is lobby security? Why is the door open?

3 Having got her SMS message, friend Deborah Malik calls Natasha at 1 a.m. Natasha doesn't speak. Malik can hear the exhaust fans of the AC plant in the background.
BUT: The exhaust fans are powerful enough to blow a human away. So how does Natasha keep her balance there?

4 Sitting on the roof, she switches off her cell phone at 1.30 a.m. and drinks whisky from a bottle she is carrying. At about 2.30 a.m. she crawls up to the tower-top and, say police, jumps to her death.
BUT: The cell phone found next to her body is undamaged after a fall from seven floors.

During the fall, her head and jaw smash against an AC duct on the first floor terrace and she dies instantly. She is found at 5.40 a.m. by a mechanic, the police arrive soon after. By 7.30 a.m., friends and family arrive.

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