Teen daughter of Russian millionaire dies in fall from 15th floor, father says it was an accident not 'criminal'
Valeria Shpilenko, 19, was found beneath her family's apartment in the central Moscow tower block, sparking an investigation by law enforcement
A multi-millionaire connected to the Kremlin has reportedly denied there was a "criminal" element attached to his daughter's death, who died in a "tragic accident" after falling from her bedroom window in a central Moscow skyscraper. 19-year-old Valeria Shpilenko was found beneath her family's apartment in the tower block, sparking an investigation by law enforcement, The Daily Mail reported.
45-year-old Andrey Shpilenko, the victim's father, is reportedly hailed as one of Russia's most skilled and high profile top managers. He was formerly an MP and a high-profile official in United Russia, the political party that served as Vladimir Putin's platform to success. Shpilenko now heads a network of "technoparks" around the country, and these are viewed by the Kremlin as vital to the economy, according to the newspaper.
The father lashed out at Russian media for suggesting there was something "criminal" behind her unnatural demise, which took place at around 1 am on Thursday -- the day after her 19th birthday. According to reports, Shpilenko heard her daughter scream and ran to her bedroom -- where he found her window open. He later found her body downstairs, police said.
"It's now a very difficult period for me and my family," Shpilenko said in a statement. "In order to avoid spreading false information, I am forced to publish this message. I see how some media outlets are trying to misinterpret information, present it as something distorted, and hint at a criminal nature."
According to him, the tragedy on Thursday night was "due to an accident" -- insisting that this was the conclusion of a law enforcement investigation into the incident. While the father did not reveal any details of the alleged accident, police sources said a preliminary examination found "no traces of a struggle." However, authorities said the investigation is still underway.
Meanwhile, authorities did not find a suicide note, nor did her friends catch any signs of her being suicidal. "She was an angel, an ideal daughter, and the kindest, sympathetic person in the world," Shpilenko said of her daughter, urging the media to not "discredit" her by speculating on her death. "My angel, my beloved daughter, rest with God. You will live in my heart forever," he previously shared, according to the Daily Mail.
Local reports described Andrey and his wife Alyona as "deeply shocked." Valeria was reportedly studying international journalism in Moscow. She was known to be keen on photography and had a younger brother Ilya, 13. Before his current role, Andrey Shpilenko served as the vice-rector of the Moscow State University of Technology and Management, per the report.