‘Sounds like foul play’: Family says ‘happy’ 18-year-old NYU student didn’t commit suicide, hires PI to unravel mystery death

News & Politics

The family of an 18-year-old NYU student who fell to her sudden death is questioning the official narrative surrounding her puzzling passing.

Doreah Salti plummeted five stories from New York University’s Barney Building on Stuyvesant Street in the East Village on Feb. 10. Police found the 18-year-old unresponsive with severe bodily trauma. She was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, but she later succumbed to her injuries from the fall.

Investigators initially suspected her death was a suicide.

However, Salti’s family doesn’t believe their “happy” daughter committed suicide and are searching for answers to her mystery death.

Fewer than three hours before her untimely death, Salti had purportedly been on a museum field trip.

The same night that she died suddenly, Doreah was asking her father if he had purchased opera tickets that they had previously discussed attending. Salti had told relatives that she was returning home to Chicago for Presidents’ Day weekend and planned to attend the performance at the Lyric Opera House on St. Patrick’s Day.

Isabella Salti, Doreah’s twin sister, said they were planning a trip to Miami for their birthday in April. Doreah had even purchased bathing suits, sunglasses, and outfits for the birthday jaunt.

Isabella described her sister as a “happy, happy 18-year-old,” who always had big dreams.

Doreah had been admitted to NYU’s summer program for artistry in Paris, France.

Doreah’s father, a 57-year-old surgical oncologist at Edward Hospital in Illinois, doesn’t believe that his daughter committed suicide.

“There was no mental health history, no [suicide] note, no bad grades, no substance abuse, no family history of mental health issues,” George Salti told the New York Post. “She was fine … she was normal on that day.”

Maria Salti, Doreah’s mother, declared that the family was “100% confident Doreah would never take her own life.”

George said that he had spoken to a New York City medical examiner, who also didn’t believe that Doreah had purposely jumped to her death. Apparently, Doreah had severe injuries to her hands and wrists, which reportedly signals that she attempted to protect herself during the fall.

“She went head-first and covered her face,” George explained. “Somebody who covers their face is trying to protect themselves, they are not trying to kill themselves.”

He added, “The medical examiner indicated she does not think she jumped.”

The distraught dad added, “I said, ‘It sounds like foul play.’ And she responded, ‘Or an accident.'”

The medical examiner’s office said Doreah’s cause of death is “still a pending investigation.”

However, the Salti family has hired a private investigator to unravel the mystery death. The family has also retained the services of Cohen & Gresser, a prominent international law firm.

Maria said, “Doreah was a bundle of joy. She was intelligent, funny, joyful, creative, a deep thinker, always looking forward — a dynamo. She always brought laughter to the family.”

The mother noted, “Part of her college essay was about being a stand-up comedian. She was witty, she was smart.”

“Words fall short of describing what losing a child is like,” the grieving mother said. “We have to deal with the pain and the questions.”

The father said more than 1,000 people attended her funeral at St. George Orthodox Church in Cicero, Illinois.

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