JOHOR BARU - Estonian freelance model Regina Soosalu, whose mysterious death in Pulau Rawa has sparked much interest nationwide, and her boyfriend were embroiled in a drug case in January and were even brought to court in May to face charges.
The 29-year-old model and Tunku Alang Reza Tunku Ibrahim, who has links to a member of a royal family, were charged in the magistrate's court with having 5.84gm of cannabis in Jalan Serigala near Taman Century here at 11pm on Jan 11.
They pleaded not guilty on May 12 and were released on bail of RM7,000 (S$2,700) in total.
Their lawyer, Bustaman Menon Abdul Hamid Menon, said the case was ongoing and was last mentioned on May 25.
Police, meanwhile, have detained Tunku Alang Reza to assist in her murder investigation.
The 28-year-old Tunku Alang Reza has been remanded for a week along with a friend known only as Augustine, 30, with the custody order obtained from the Kota Tinggi magistrate's court here yesterday morning.
Their arrest brings to seven the number of people picked up in connection with the murder of the model.
Sources said those arrested earlier were a bartender, two boatmen, a resort manager and a "friend of Tunku Alang Reza", who were all at Pulau Rawa when Soosalu was found dead.
Soosalu had allegedly been taking a stroll along the beach on Pulau Rawa on July 1 when tragedy struck.
Her body was later found on the beach and close friends in the modelling industry only found out about her death about six days later.
Soosalu was initially thought to have drowned when her body was found on the beach hours after she had arrived on the island from Kuala Lumpur where she lived.
However, police are now investigating the case as murder after "suspicious wounds" were found on her body.
Johor CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Hasnan Hassan, who confirmed that the boyfriend had been remanded, said the post-mortem was still ongoing.
"Samples from her body have since been sent to the lab for testing.
Other details cannot be revealed until the tests are completed," he said.
Asked if family members of the Estonian had arrived in the country, SAC Hasnan said the dealings with the family were carried out by the Estonian embassy in Beijing.
An Estonian news website has linked a two-minute video clip made by Vision Studio entitled "Remembering Regina" where the model spoke about her life and hopes in Malaysia.
The clip, which was published on July 8, carried the words "we remember not just that you are gone but your existence had given us memories too beautiful to forget."
In the video, Soosalu talked about how warm Malaysia is since she was from a cold country and said she was unsure if she would continue living in Malaysia permanently.
According to the website, her family last spoke to her on June 27 and claimed that they were only told about her death on July 8.