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NEW YORK CITY — A New York City ad executive plunged to her death during a first date Thursday when the 17th-floor balcony railing she was sitting gave way, authorities and police sources said. It happened after the woman's date had warned her not to sit on the railing.
Police responded to the residential high-rise at 400 East 57th street in Manhattan at approximately 12:40 a.m. local time on Thursday after receiving a 911 call of an unconscious female. Officers found the 35-year-old woman unconscious and unresponsive, and she was later pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical services.
The victim was identified as Jennifer Rosoff, who was at her 17th-floor apartment after going on a first date with a man who witnessed the shocking accident. He had told Rosoff not to sit on the railing as she smoked a cigarette, police sources told NBC 4 New York, but the woman continued and the railing gave way after two 'pops' were heard.
Video footage from the apartment's balcony showed the metal railing was bent and twisted after the accident, with a cigarette lighter sitting nearby. Sources told the local television channel that witnesses saw a screaming man, believed to be Rosoff's date, running from the building just after the accident.
Police were continuing to investigate the incident late on Thursday and said the Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. But NBC 4 New York said investigators had spoken with Rosoff's date and cleared him of any wrongdoing, although it remains unclear what caused the railing to give way.
A man who also lives on the 17th floor but did not want to give his name told the news channel that his landlord had sent the superintendent and an inspector to examine his balcony two or three months ago. "They just asked to peek at it, and I just assumed they were only talking about the surface of it, because that's what they had worked on," he said.
Rosoff, who previously worked at The New Yorker and Lucky Magazine, was director of sales at New York advertising company TripleLift. "She was a well-loved and highly respected member of our team," CEO Eric Berry said in a statement. "The entire company is distraught by the loss of Ms. Rosoff — she will be deeply missed."