IPOH (THE STAR /ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian student who fell to his death in Taipei, apparently while taking selfies dressed in a Spider-Man costume, was well known among his lecturers and peers as a cosplay fan.
According to tabloid portal Appledaily.com, Lee Yang Hao, 29, loved cosplay and had worn the costume to class before, so many teachers and students knew of his hobby.
The student of Changhua county’s Da-Yeh University was found dead on Wednesday night (Jan 3) outside the men’s dormitory, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported.
He is believed to have fallen from the fifth floor of the building, the agency said.
A childhood friend here said Lee only entered his Spider-Man phase after going to Taiwan four years ago.
Vanness Fan, 31, said Lee joined the “Zhu Zhu Tuan” or Spider Troupe, a cosplay group devoted to the web-slinger, while doing his studies there.
“For as long as I have known him, he was never into Spider-Man - until he went to Taipei.
“He was into football (here) and supported Liverpool,” Fan told The Star when contacted.
“He liked the colour red, which could be why he also liked Spider-Man,” he said.
Fan added that Lee used to live across the road from his house in Kampung Sultan, Kampar.
“I last saw him last year at his brother’s wedding. He was a happy-go-lucky person who made friends easily.
“You could see on Facebook how many of his friends were saddened by his death,” he added.
Fan said Lee, the youngest of five siblings, used to work at a hotel in Genting.
“He also worked part-time in Taiwan to pay for his studies,” he said, adding that they used to play football together.
Bernama reported that a student passing by the dormitory building found Lee unconscious and notified the university and police.
But Lee was already dead when they reached the scene, police said.
The police said they believed Lee was taking selfies on the balcony when he fell. They also found his cellphone on the fifth floor balcony.
A classmate told them that Lee had said earlier that he was going to take photos outside.
It was also reported that students and staff had seen Lee on campus earlier in the day.
His roommate, who was not identified, said just before the incident, Lee had put on the costume and told him that he wanted to take a photo.
“I got a shock when I heard what happened,” he said.
A video aired on TVBS showed blurred pictures of Lee’s body, the place he was found and his closet in the hostel, which was full of clothes and what looked like Spider-Man costumes.
Chan Ting-yu, head of the investigation unit at Changhua county police department’s Yuanlin precinct, said police were currently unable to determine the cause of death as there were no witnesses.
Da-Yeh University has contacted Lee’s family in Malaysia and will arrange for them to travel to Taiwan.