Dubai: A young British woman who plunged to her death in Bur Dubai in the wee hours of April 7 feared for her life. “Someone’s trying to kill me,” she said repeatedly moments before her death, according to a newspaper delivery man who was with her in the lift of the building from which she fell.
Evelyn Clarke, 28, an Emirates flight attendant from Irvine, Ayrshire, was found in a pool of blood in the parking bay of the seven-storey Afaf building in the Silver Sands area at around 4.30am.
The deliveryman who was on his daily rounds told XPRESS that Clarke was being “followed” by a South Asian man.
He said he was at the elevator in the building lobby when he saw the woman come in with a “South Asian man”. This was at around 4.20am.
He said: “I got into the elevator to go up to the fourth floor. But just as the doors were closing, the woman put her hand in to stop the lift and stepped inside. The man did not take the lift. He looked like a South Asian, was of medium height and wheatish complexion.”
No shoes on
The delivery man, who travelled up in the lift with the woman, said: “She had no shoes on. She was cowering with fear and it appeared she was being followed by the South Asian man. She kept saying ‘Someone is trying to kill me’. As she spoke, there was a strong smell of alcohol.”
When XPRESS showed him pictures of Clarke the deliveryman confirmed it was the same woman he saw in the lift. He said: “I told her to call the police or I could do it for her. But she said no.”
By this time, the elevator reached the third floor where the woman stepped out and headed into the stairwell room.
The deliveryman said he dropped off three newspapers on the fourth and fifth floors and was coming down in the lift when it stopped at the first floor. “The security guard was at the door, so I told him about the woman and continued to the ground floor. When I reached the lobby, the man was still there and asked me in Hindi if the woman lived in the building. I ignored him and walked away.”
He said when he returned to Afaf to recheck if he had kept a fourth newspaper for a seventh floor resident at the reception after making four deliveries in a neighbouring building, the South Asian man was still there, standing outside the main entrance. “When I checked the reception and came out, I saw him walking away.”
The security guard on duty said Clarke was not a resident of the building. He said he did not see her coming into the building as he was in the washroom.
He said when the deliveryman told him about the woman, he immediately went up the stairs. “But I didn’t see anyone. As I was coming down, I heard a strange noise. So I ran up again.”
When he reached the rooftop which has two levels – one leading to the gym and the other to the lift machine room – all was not well.
“I opened the door to the second level and found that one of the two fire extinguishers had been used. The room was filled with fumes. The smoke detector in the elevator room was activated and the fire alarm went off.”
He said he immediately alerted the building watchman in charge and ran down the stairs to turn off the alarm. “The watchman found a woman’s bag in the elevator machine room on top. By then, I had turned off the alarm and was checking the basement and the ground floor when I discovered the body in the parking area.”
The guard said the body was lying below the stairway windows behind the building. However, many questions remain unanswered: Did the woman fall from the rooftop window? Was she alone when it happened? Who activated the fire extinguisher and why? It is also not clear what Clarke was doing in the building or where she came from on that fateful night.
The two rooftop windows, stairwell railings, doors and the fire extinguisher carried fingerprints taken by investigators who rushed to the spot after the security called the police. A forensic report is awaited.
An Emirates spokesperson said: “Emirates can confirm that a 28-year-old British female whose body was found in Dubai on April 7 was employed with Emirates as a cabin crew member. While investigations continue, our sympathies go out to her family who are currently being supported by our staff welfare team.”
Meanwhile, a memorial page put up by her friends on Facebook gives a glimpse into the kind of person she was. She is described as a “true friend”, “beautiful, graceful and glamorous”.
A comment against a radiant picture said: “This is the way Evelyn looked at life, always smiling, always happy...”
There has been an outpouring of messages on Twitter as well. “My heart goes out to Evelyn Clarke’s family and friends to remember her always and forever,” said one tweet.
“RIP Evelyn Clarke, such sad news. You’re with the angels now,” read another.