Model Dies in Apparent Suicide

A 20 year-old model jumped to her death in Manhattan in an apparent suicide yesterday. "Ruslana Korshunova, 20, whose face has graced the cover of French Elle and Russian Vogue, apparently jumped from her ninth-floor apartment in her Water Street building in the Financial District just before 2:30 p.m. 'I heard what sounded like a gunshot or a bomb or an explosion,' said a stunned Con Ed worker talking to a cop nearby [...] Cops said there were no signs of a struggle in the one-bedroom apartment, where she lived for only two months. And the balcony from which she plunged had construction netting around it that appeared to have been deliberately ripped."

"Korshunova, a green-eyed beauty, known as 'The Russian Rapunzel' for her long, flowing chestnut locks, worked with the elite modeling agency IMG, which boasts top models Heidi Klum and Kate Moss. 'Our hearts are with her family,' said IMG's representative, Zach Eichman.

"The 5-foot-8 head-turner-just days from her 21st birthday-has been featured in ads for Marc Jacobs, DKNY, Vera Wang and Christian Dior. She was discovered in 2003 when a booker from London-based Models 1, Debbie Jones, noticed her in a feature about the model's hometown of Almaty, Kazakhstan.

"'She looked like something out of a fairytale!' Jones told British Vogue. Soon after, the 17-year-old beauty was hailed as the next big thing, gracing runways at Fashion Week wearing Jill Stuart, Betsey Johnson and other designers.

"Her distraught ex-boyfriend, Artem Perchenok, 24, said that he dropped the model at her apartment at 5 a.m. after they watched the movie 'Ghost.'

"'She was a good person'" he told The Post, still reeling from the shock.

"Friends broke the tragic news to Korshunova's mom, Valentina and brother Ruslan, who still live in Kazakhstan. '[The mom] didn't believe it was real,' one close friend told the Post via phone from Moscow, Russia.

"Korshunova's best friend, Kira Titeneva broke down when she arrived at her pal's apartment late last night. 'We were talking on the phone last night,' she said. 'She loved life so much. She was an angel.' Titeneva, who grew up in her pal's hometown, said Korshunova 'wasn't wild. She was never on drugs or anything.'

"Another friend said that Korshunova seemed to be 'on top of the world.'

"'There were no signs,' said the pal who did not want to be named. 'That's what's driving me crazy. I don't see one reason why she would do that.'" [NYP]