Murdered Estonian model spent a lot of time on Pulau Rawa, says close friend

Two men have been remanded by the Kota Tinggi court in connection with the death of Estonian model Regina Soosalu on Pulau Rawa off Mersing on July 1. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Estonian model Regina Soosalu spent a lot of time on Pulau Rawa after getting together with her boyfriend about two years ago, her close friend said.

"I did not notice anything unusual about the way she acted leading to her death," said Josiah Mizukami, 28, adding that Soosalu was not close with her family in Estonia and rarely spoke about them.

"After her death, close friends received calls from her brother asking about what had occurred but a few days later, he stopped calling and just said we should all just let it be," he said, adding that the last time he saw her and her boyfriend was about two months ago.

"She often goes to Pulau Rawa for short holidays with her boyfriend," he said when contacted.

Mizukami said he and Soosalu had begun their careers in the entertainment industry together in Bangkok, Thailand, about six years ago.

Soosalu, who lived in Kuala Lumpur, was believed to have been on holiday on the island when she died.

Both Soosalu and her boyfriend, Tengku Alang Reza Ibrahim, had posted that they were in a relationship together in their Facebook profiles, with photos of both of them together in their accounts.

Soosalu was last seen active on her Facebook on June 29 while her last photo was uploaded on Instagram on June 30.

Another close friend, however, claimed the couple had been in a rocky relationship over the last few months.

"Previously, we often met up but things have changed. They fought a lot in front of everyone," she said, noting that they had been friends for more than three years.

Another model said the news was heartbreaking as they had planned to collaborate in a photo shoot.

"She was a nice and humble person, and we planned to have a shoot together after Raya. I hope the authorities will find out who was behind the incident," he said.

Condolences also poured in from close friends both on Instagram and Facebook, with a user called Sandy Sandz saying "my heart condolences to Alang and her family. May you find comfort in the many loving memories you will carry in your heart forever."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.