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Police tightlipped over Kiwi Chantelle Klasema's mysterious fall

By Ben Hill, Belinda Feek, Kathryn Powley of the Melbourne Herald Sun

Australian police say they won't reveal anymore details around the "mysterious" death of a Kiwi woman who fell from a Melbourne apartment.

Chantelle Klasema, 29, died after plunging from the third-floor balcony of an apartment in the suburb of Collingwood, landing in an enclosed courtyard.

Her father Jaap Klasema said he had no idea how it could have happened. Her Hawke's Bay-based mother declined to comment when contacted by the Herald.

Chantelle died at the scene, and a 35-year-old man who also fell remains in a stable condition in the Alfred Hospital.

Klasema, who lives in Thailand, said he was struggling to come to terms with his daughter's death in such unusual circumstances.

Residents of the block appear distraught as they look down on the scene. Photo / Christopher Chan
Residents of the block appear distraught as they look down on the scene. Photo / Christopher Chan

He found it "extremely strange" that two people could fall from a balcony.

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"I have never in my life heard a story where two people dropped from a building.

"I just don't know what to think of all this. She was such a sweet person. She was intelligent and had a big heart.

"She would do anything for anybody.

"She was a darling," he said.

Channel 7 in Australia reported the pair did not deliberately fall, but "overbalanced", and that police had said it was a "misadventure".

When contacted today, a Victoria police spokeswoman said they would not be making any further comment as the matter was now with the coroner. They were still investigating "the exact cause" of the accident.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was "aware of the tragic death of New Zealander Chantelle Klasema in Melbourne as a result of a fall from a balcony".

"MFat is in contact with her family and is providing them with support."

Neighbours told Channel 7 that the man overbalanced and perhaps reached out to grab the woman to stop himself from falling, but instead had pulled her over with him.

Steve Klasema and his sister Chantelle Klasema. Photo / Facebook
Steve Klasema and his sister Chantelle Klasema. Photo / Facebook

Police were not treating the death as suspicious.

Police believe the pair were up all night partying, Channel 7 reported.

Klasema said he was desperate to find out what happened.

"I'm walking around in a daze, being so far away. It's hopeless," Klasema said.

He last saw Chantelle in person about three years ago.

Although he had lived apart from her and her elder brother Steve for many years he said
he regularly spoke to Chantelle by phone or Skype.

Klasema said his daughter loved travel and because she held Dutch and Kiwi citizenship papers, the world was her oyster.

Klasema grew up in Havelock North, and moved to Melbourne in her 20s. She was working for an IT company when she died.

Residents of the modern apartment building told Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper they heard a party in the complex the night before Chantelle died.

Her body and that of the injured man, whose condition was initially critical, were discovered about 11.30am on Saturday morning soon after they were believed to have
fallen from about 10m, landing on tar seal near rubbish skips.

Many of Chantelle's 1298 friends have changed their profile picture to one of them together or in a group.

Bonnie Conole wrote: "Love you forever you beautiful soul', and Jamie Vogels wrote 'R.I.P Chonts. We'll miss you forever'.

Victoria police spent much of Saturday examining the scene and speaking to residents, but by Sunday morning said they were not treating Chantelle's death as suspicious and were preparing a report for the coroner.

Leading Senior Constable Adam West said police had spoken to the injured man in hospital.

The investigation was ongoing.


- NZ Herald

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