Footage clue and screams heard in 14-storey plunge

COLLETTE DEVLIN AND KRISTIAN SILVA
Last updated 05:00 12/08/2014

Australian police are using CCTV footage to help find out what happened to a Wellington woman who fell to her death from a high-rise apartment on the Gold Coast.

Warriena Tagpuno Wright, 26, known as Rrie, was in Australia for a fortnight to see friends and to attend a wedding.

She fell 14 floors from the balcony of the Avalon apartments in Surfers Paradise early on Friday.

Wright had spent the night with Gable Tostee - a man she is understood to have met through dating app Tinder - at his apartment. He was not there when police arrived.

Tostee, 28, was questioned by police on Friday and released without charge.

On Friday, neighbours told reporters they heard arguing in Mr Tostee’s apartment in the lead-up to Ms Wright’s death.

Several residents recounted hearing a woman’s screams.

Delwyn Grooby, who said she was staying in the neighbouring Tiki apartment complex, told Fairfax Media she heard three distinct screams on the night of Ms Wright’s death.

“There was fear in her second scream that made me feel sick and frightened for her,” Ms Grooby said.

“In the silence that followed I prayed that someone had come to her rescue. When the third scream came I really can’t explain how I felt.”

Detective Superintendent David Hutchinson of the Gold Coast CIB told the Herald via APNZ that screams were heard shortly before the fall.

"There was a disturbance in the unit, there were raised voices."

Hutchinson said the death was still being treated as suspicious.

Footage recorded at various locations, including Tostee's parents' home, where he is now staying, had been gathered to determine the movements of people at various times, he said.

He confirmed Tostee was still a person of interest and, when asked whether Tostee was co-operating with police, said he had "elected to undertake his right to silence".

However, Tostee took to a bodybuilding forum yesterday to say he was "devastated" by the death, and denied having anything to do with Wright's fall.

"I absolutely did NOT cause this girl to fall and that I am devastated about what happened to her," he wrote.

On the same site yesterday he said he had taken home about 150 girls from clubs during the past few years.

In June, he boasted on the site that a 21-year-old Tinder date, whom he referred to as a "young sloot", came to his place, where he tried to initiate sex, but the girl "bolted".

"Maybe I acted too abruptly and snapped her out of her little lust trance by manhandling her."

On Friday, neighbours reported hearing arguments in Tostee's apartment in the leadup to Wright's death.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Kiwibank, in whose Wellington call centre Wright worked, said: "She was a really popular member of staff . . . well respected and highly valued." She had worked for the bank for just over a year.

- THE DOMINION POST & BRISBANE TIMES

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