US

American Teenager Dies After Falling From Balcony in Cancún

By Zachary Stieber

A Michigan teenager was pronounced dead after falling from a seventh-floor balcony in Cancún.

Ahmed Altaii, 19, who graduated from Fordson High School in 2017, fell from the balcony of the GR Solaris Hotel while in Cancún for spring break with his girlfriend on March 9.

Mexican authorities announced the death but said they’re still investigating how he fell.

According to the Yucatan Times, Altaii’s girlfriend told police that her boyfriend started drinking early the day he fell. The fall was reported around 9:40 p.m. local time.

Witnesses told police that Altaii had seemed nervous or anxious and was seen pacing around the hotel room before the fall.

Dozens of the teen’s friends gathered at Ford Field Park in Dearborn on March 10 to mourn their friend.

“I’m still in shock that he’s gone,” said Wasem Eid, who played football with Altaii in high school, reported WXYZ.

“He’s such a great person. He put so many smiles on everybody’s face,” added Ayman Mustafa.

Heidi Newman, Altaii’s girlfriend, said their trip was almost over when tragedy struck.

“I miss him so much,” Newman said at the vigil, reported the Dearborn Press & Guide. “We were so happy. He was the love of my life. I wish he was here right now, we all do.”

While Newman didn’t provide details about what happened, video footage that was later removed from the Internet appeared to show Altaii sitting on the balcony and being bumped by another man, which caused the fall.

After graduating high school, Altaii began attending Henry Ford Community College.

In a personal statement on a college football recruitment website, Altaii wrote: “I’m a hard worker. I do what I’m told. I never just settle for ordinary. I exceed every limit that has been set.”

In a statement, the college said: “Ahmed’s passing is a terrible loss for our community. All of us at Henry Ford College send our deepest condolences and sympathy to the family and friends who are suffering from this tragedy.”

A GoFundMe fundraiser was launched by a family friend to help the family with funeral costs.

Mom Charged in Death of Child She Said Fell From Balcony

A Texas mother was charged in the death of her 5-year-old child, who she claimed fell from the balcony at their apartment in Houston.

Andrea Webb, 21, told investigators that her daughter, Samantha Bell, fell from a balcony over the weekend.

Investigators found that Samantha’s injuries, which led to her death, were not consistent with a fall. The child had visible injuries “to her face, chest, abdomen, arms, and back,” police told KHOU.

Webb later admitted that she made the balcony story up. She said she made the girl sit against a wall for hours without any support and when the girl didn’t do so, her mother struck her with a belt.

Mom lied about girl falling off balcony
Andrea Webb, 21, told investigators that her daughter, Samantha Bell, fell from a balcony over the weekend, but later admitted she hit Samantha with a belt. She was arrested and charged in the death on March 11, 2019. (Houston Police Department)

Paramedics who arrived at the house found the girl dead in a bedroom of an apartment on the first floor of the building.

Webb was arrested and charged on March 11. “When we responded to the scene as investigators, we saw multiple injuries on the child that were not consistent with just a fall. This child had bruises all over her face, chest, arms, back,” Houston Police Sgt. Joshua Horn told KPRC.

After conducting just kind of a brief interview with mom, she more or less told us that the 5-year-old never fell, so she recanted on her original statement.”

Webb’s boyfriend, who was living at the apartment, was arrested on an outstanding warrant for violating parole and also lied to police about his identity, officers said.