Russian child model who died in China ‘may have been deliberately poisoned’

Vlada Dzyuba's death was initially put down to exhaustion, septicaemia, or meningitis

Harry Cockburn
Thursday 16 November 2017 10:07
The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case into her death
The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case into her death

A 14-year-old Russian girl who died while working long hours as a model in China may have been poisoned, it has been claimed.

Vlada Dzyuba’s sudden death during a modelling tour in Shanghai made international headlines last month.

Her death was initially put down to exhaustion, septicaemia, or meningitis, and reignited the debate about the treatment of models in the fashion industry.

But it has been reported that an autopsy revealed evidence of a “biological poison” in her body.

“The source of the [toxic] substance is not known but it is clear the girl was killed ‘not by a simple infection’,” Russian online forum Mash reported.

It quoted a source who said: “The girl could have been bitten, she could have eaten something, she could have been passed something.”

The findings were reported by Russian State television and regional media, and come after the Russian Investigative Committee (similar to the US’s FBI) opened a criminal case into the girl’s death.

According to the Siberian Times investigators have spoken to the girl’s parents, two Russian modelling agencies, and have been seeking the assistance of the Chinese authorities.

(Vlada Dzyuba/Facebook

Three modelling agencies linked to Dzyuba have denied responsibility for her death.

When she died there was criticism her Russian boss had not provided her with medical insurance to work in China.

Subsequent reports said on some days she had been earning as little as £6.30 a day after paying for her own air fares, hotels and food.

She had reportedly phoned her mother in the days before her death, saying that she felt exhausted.

On the day she was eventually admitted to hospital, she had taken part in a 13-hour photoshoot and undertaken a 185-mile journey back to Shanghai.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in