22-storey fall kills daughter of US envoy

The  envoy accompanied his daughter Nicole to New York as she was preparing for her first year of college at Parsons The New School For Design, near Union Square, The New York Times reported.

Nicole died early Friday after falling 22 floors from a building in Herald Square after a night out that led her and friends to a party at the high-rise. Her body was discovered at 4:14 a.m., sprawled on a third-floor landing of Herald Towers, near Avenue of the Americas, where she was pronounced dead, the police said.

"Her father had just brought her over from Bangkok and moved her into her dorm," her aunt, Betsy John Jennings, said in a phone interview. "I just spoke to her Monday evening, and she was just so pleased and happy with her roommates and to be in the school."

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said the fall appeared to have been an accident.
The police said Nicole was apparently out with friends at Tenjune, a club in the meatpacking district, but left at 2:15 a.m. to go to a party on the 25th floor of Herald Towers.

A witness who was at the party told the police that she took off her shoes before climbing onto a window ledge.

When officers discovered her body, Kelly said, they found a small camera nearby, leading investigators to believe she might have stepped out to take a picture. Being unfamiliar with the apartment, she might also have believed there was a terrace outside the window.

Friday, the police arrested Ilan Nassimi, 25, who lived in the apartment from which the girl fell, on charges of unlawfully dealing with a child because there was alcohol present in the apartment, according to officials.

But the police said they had not determined if Nicole had been drinking. An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday, an official said.

Officers who arrived at Herald Towers in response to a 911 call noted the apartment appeared to have been cleaned up.

"There was no alcohol, or no indication of a party going on," Kelly said. A witness in an adjacent building, "who saw the young woman fall", Kelly said, called 911. The girl had a false identification, a Brazilian driver's licence with someone else's name, showing her to be 23 or 24, Kelly said.

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