UPDATE: Shanghai police say 14-year-old Russian model’s death was not the result of overwork, poison
The tragic, mysterious death of a 14-year-old Russian model in China made headlines last month with reports that she had literally been worked to death out on the runway. But, there’s now speculation that the teen may in fact have been poisoned.
Last month, Russian media initially reported that Vlada Dzyuba had collapsed from exhaustion during a grueling “13-hour fashion show” in Shanghai before falling into a coma and dying two days later at the hospital from meningitis.
However, the Shanghai modeling agency which hired Vlada on a temporary contract told a much different story about the teen’s death, claiming that she had rarely worked over eight hours in a day and had plenty of breaks. Instead, the agency said that Vlada had fallen ill following a photo shoot in the city of Yiwu. The next day, the agency arranged for her to be taken back to Shanghai to rest at her hotel dormitory. However, Vlada’s condition unfortunately did not improve and she was taken to the hospital where she died a few days later from multiple organ failure apparently resulting from blood poisoning.
The latest twist in this tragic case was announced earlier this week with Russian media reporting that an autopsy had revealed evidence of a “biological poison” in her body.
“The origin of the poison has not been established yet,” relays the English-language Siberian Times. “Vlada could have been bitten by a mortally poisonous insect, she could have eaten something, or she could have been deliberately poisoned.”
The Investigative Committee of Russia, the country’s FBI, has opened up a criminal case into the teen’s death and additional tests are now set to take place, reports Russian media.
No matter the exact circumstances underlying the teen’s untimely death, the case has sparked outrage and criticism against the practice of underage Eastern European girls working long hours as models in China, dreaming of catwalk stardom on the international stage. Reportedly, Vlada herself was making only $8 a day in China while she missed school. She was also not provided with medical insurance in the country.