Last week, a 14-year-old model from Perm, Russia, died while on a three-month assignment in China, setting off questions and a burst of unverified information regarding the circumstances of her death.
On Tuesday, Russian authorities in Perm announced that they were starting a criminal investigation into whether Vlada Dzyuba’s death was caused by neglect, according to a local news publication.
The inquiry could shed light on why “a child who has not reached 14 years of age found herself abroad, who it was that brokered her contract, why she did not have the documents that provide medical support,” said Anna Kuznetsova, the children’s rights commissioner for the Russian Federation, at a news conference in Vladivostok, according to the state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.
One red flag that has caught the attention of authorities: Ms. Dzyuba did not have health insurance, though her contract with Esee Models, the management company in Shanghai that hired her, stipulated that she should have enrolled before her arrival. Her lack of insurance may have kept Ms. Dzyuba from speaking up about the pains she was experiencing.
Though an autopsy has not been performed, Andrey Kulikov, a representative of the Russian consulate in Shanghai, told RIA Novosti that the cause of Ms. Dzyuba’s death appeared to be multiple organ failure caused by sepsis and an infection in her nervous system.