Is Dubai trying to cover-up woman’s death from top of world’s tallest building?
MYSTERY surrounds the tragic death of a woman who is said to have committed suicide from the world’s tallest building.
PUBLISHED: 14:21, Tue, May 19, 2015 | UPDATED: 18:27, Tue, May 19, 2015
Laura Nunes, 39, is thought to have jumped more than 1,800ft from the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai last November, after her relationship with a wealthy businessman apparently turned sour.
However, police chiefs in the UAE have now reportedly claimed that Ms Nunes, a qualified masseuse who was in Dubai on a tourist visa hoping to find work, jumped from a DIFFERENT building.
Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant to the Dubai Police Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, said Ms Nunes had instead jumped out of her 14th-floor Jumeirah Lake Towers apartment.
The fully-furnished holiday apartment block is a 20-minute drive from the Burj Khalifa – a popular attraction among tourists and those living in the UAE.
According to the website Gulf News, Maj Gen Al Mansour said a police team carried out investigations at the scene and there was nothing to suggest any criminal activity, adding that Ms Nunes died on impact.
However, her heartbroken mother, Leona Sykes, has now reacted with fury to the police’s claims about the location of her daughter’s death.
What a loss of a beautiful young life
Laura Nunes’ mother Leona Sykes
On her Google+ account she wrote:” Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri…we both know exactly where my daughter was staying at the time of her death and it wasn’t at the Jumeirah Lakes Towers!!!
“Unbelievable. Money is their god, not Islam…”
What a loss of a beautiful young life
The mother then published images of the coroner’s report over her daughter’s death, which she says proves her daughter died at the Burj Khalifa.
Ms Sykes previously travelled to Dubai in March to investigate.
She became concerned after her daughter’s tragic death was reportedly suppressed by Emirate authorities – where public information is tightly controlled.
Ms Nunes’ death on November 16 had gone unreported until now.
Determined Ms Sykes, from South Africa, said she couldn’t believe how easy it could be for her daughter could jump from the Burj Khalifa building, which is a major tourist attraction with supposedly modern safety features.
She claims that Emmar, the property group behind the 2,700ft high building, has refused her repeated requests for information about her daughter’s death.
Eventually, Ms Sykes managed to persuade police in Dubai to show her CCTV footage taken from the deck of the building’s observation deck on the 148th floor, which apparently shows Ms Nunes slipping through a small gap designed to allow tourists to look out and take photographs.
The official forensic report from Ms Nunes’ death states she died at the Burj Khalifa
Writing on her Google+ account, she said: “I went to Bur Dubai police station this morning and they were very cooperative and sensitive and concerned about how I would handle viewing the footage.
“I told them that I had to see it as I needed to know what happened to my daughter and that I would handle it, so they showed me the footage.
“What a loss of a beautiful young life.”
She added: “My daughter slipped through a gap between two panels of glass just above the handrail. After this tragedy the police requested the Burj Khalifa make the gaps smaller. Which they did.
“If my daughter, an adult female, could slip through the opening, so could a child and its highly irresponsible of the Burj Khalifa and the Emaar Property Group to have had an opening that size just above the handrail, or in fact anywhere on a deck that’s 555 metres above ground level.”
After plunging more than 1,800ft, Ms Nunes’ body is said to have been found on the terrace of the third-floor Amal restaurant, part of the luxury Armani hotel.
The final moments of Laura Nunes
HAS the mega-rich Emirate been caught in a huge lie about the circumstances of the death of a tourist at a popular attraction?
news.com.au MAY 20, 20159:02AM
What really happened to Laura Vanessa Nunes?
IT’S a baffling case. A woman plunged to her death from a building in Dubai six months ago, but there are still conflicting accounts of her final moments.
Leona Sykes has shared harrowing details on her Google+ account of how her daughter Laura Vanessa Nunes jumped from the 148th floor of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, last November.
Ms Nunes, 39, had been in a bad emotional and mental state after her relationship with a local businessman failed.
The Portuguese woman’s suicide initially went unreported in the Emirate, which strictly controls what information appears in the media. Initial requests by Mrs Sykes to see the CCTV footage from the tower were ignored, and police also wouldn’t help. So, determined to find out what happened, Mrs Sykes flew in to Dubai in March.
She refused to believe it would be possible for her daughter to have fallen from the 828 metre-high tower with its supposed safety features.
Even stranger, apparently nobody at the popular tourist attraction noticed she had fallen.
Laura Nunes apparently jumped from the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.Source:Supplied
While in Dubai, Mrs Sykes claims the police finally allowed her to see the CCTV footage from the observation deck.
“I went to the Bur Dubai police station this morning and they were very cooperative and sensitive and concerned about how I would handle viewing the footage,” she wrote on the Google+ account.
“I told them that I had to see it as I needed to know what happened to my daughter and that I would handle it, so they showed me the footage. What a loss of a beautiful young life.”
The gap in the safety barriers was too big, and Ms Nunes was able to jump through.
“My daughter slipped through a gap between two panels of glass just above the handrail. After this tragedy the police requested the Burj Khalifa make the gaps smaller. Which they did.
“ … If my daughter, an adult female, could slip through the opening, so could a child and its highly irresponsible of the Burj Khalifa and the Emaar Property Group to have had an opening that size just above the handrail, or in fact anywhere on a deck that’s 555 metres above ground level.”
She also posted this heartbreaking video detailing her struggle for answers.
However, the police have denied this version of events in local media reports today on the back of an article that appeared on the Daily Mail.
Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant to the Dubai Police Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs told the GulfNews that the woman had actually jumped from a different building.
According to the report, he said she actually fell from the 14th floor of the Jumeirah Lake Towers apartment, and that a police team investigated at the time and found no evidence of criminal activity.
This afternoon Mrs Skyes wrote in response to the GulfNews article: “Unbelievable. Money is their god, not Islam …”
She told news.com.au: “The police know exactly where she had been staying at the time of her death. They had been there after her death and removed her Portuguese passport from her belongings.
“Her South African passport with my contact details were in her handbag. In the meantime all my requests to know where she had been staying were ignored.”
Mrs Sykes has shown news.com.au a copy of the coroner’s report, which states the fact that the body was found at the third level of the Burj Khalifa.
She also questioned why they changed the windows at the Burj, and why so secretly.
So the question remains: why would the police have different versions of what happened?
Mrs Sykes says she remains tormented by what happened to her daughter: “I am still very cut up about my daughter’s death … still haven’t fully accepted it yet … and as more pieces of the puzzle are fitted my heart gets broken even more.”
news.com.au has contacted Dubai police, Emaar, the company which owns the Burj Khalifa, and the Jumeirah Lake Towers for comment.
The hunt for answers remains.
18 May 2016. A year had passed since the Daily Mail article had been published. There hadn’t been a follow-up story questioning Dubai’s version of events so I put together this video.
Laura Vanessa Nunes – Burj Khalifa’s best kept secret exposed…
Rod Davies with the Daily Mail exposed the government of Dubai and the Emaar Property Group’s best-kept secret…the death of my daughter Laura Vanessa Nunes from the At the Top Sky observation deck on the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai on 16 November 2014. I would like to thank Rob Davies and the Daily Mail, and all the news media around the world that published the truth about Laura’s death. And a special thanks to Will Jordan of Al Jazeera… I couldn’t understand how Laura’s death wasn’t noticed by tourists that were on the deck with her…after I saw the CCTV footage at the Bur Dubai police station, I understood… I am still trying to understand why the government of Dubai is lying about the circumstances of Laura’s death…perhaps you could enlighten me Maktoum? Why are you so intent on protecting the Burj Khalifa and the Emaar Property Group?