Woman falls to her death from downtown building

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Police are investigating a suspicious death in Shockoe Bottom. A woman apparently fell from the balcony of a downtown apartment building Tuesday morning.

It happened on 21st and East Main streets. Police have not confirmed the woman fell, but they say it was a strong possibility. Several witnesses told NBC12 they heard screaming and yelling just before they also heard a terrible thud.

A crew member with monument construction says he ran over to help, but couldn't find a pulse on the victim.

All morning, police were focused on this balcony at the Engine Company Lofts at Shockoe Valley Heights.  Investigators could be seen in the apartment.

"Officers received the call around 10:49 this morning and when they arrived very quickly they found a white female who's in her early 30s on the street behind me," said police spokesperson Dionne Waugh.

The woman was quickly hidden by police cars and barriers. She was lying on the sidewalk of 21st Street between East Main and Franklin streets.

It's a busy area, just under a year ago we showed you the Engine Company Lofts under construction. The apartments opened about four months ago and witnesses at the scene told us the woman and her boyfriend moved in a few days ago.

A construction worker says he saw the victim a few minutes before her death taking out the trash. He says she smiled as she walked by.

Police are now trying to figure exactly what happened to her, whether this was a tragic accident or if she was pushed from balcony.

"That is one possibility of whether or not she fell we are looking into at this time," Waugh said. 'We're not ruling out anything and we're looking at all possibilities."

The medical examiner's office is working to determine the woman's exact cause of death.

If you were near 21st and Main around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday morning and heard or saw anything that could help police you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

A spokesperson for the leasing agents at Engine Company Lofts told NBC12, "We are working with investigators and feel for the family and the victim."

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