Plot thickens: A Bitcoin dispensing machine at a shopping mall in Singapore. - AFP
THE 28-year-old American boss of a Bitcoin exchange has been found dead at the base of a Singapore apartment block, police and reports said, in the latest misfortune linked with the troubled virtual currency.
Singapore police said they were investigating the “unnatural” death of Autumn Radtke, chief executive of Singapore-based First Meta, on Feb 26, but that no foul play was suspected.
A local technology website first reported she may have committed suicide, but later updated its report to say it was “unclear” how she died.
Broadcaster Channel NewsAsia said on its website yesterday that Radtke “was found dead at the bottom of an apartment block”.
Her death comes as the virtual currency community is in turmoil after the collapse of Tokyo-based MtGox, one of the longest-established Bitcoin exchanges, due to a suspected theft worth nearly half a billion dollars.
The Singapore Police Force said they received a call early on Feb 26 requesting assistance at a public housing block on the fringe of the central business district.
“A woman in her 20s was found lying motionless,” they said in a statement.
“She was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. Police are investigating the unnatural death,” it added. “Preliminary investigations show that no foul play is suspected.”
The term “unnatural death” is used to refer to suspected suicides and other deaths not due to natural causes like an illness.
The cause of death is subsequently determined by a coroner.
A US embassy official confirmed that Radtke is an American citizen and that it has provided assistance to her family.
News of Radtke’s death first surfaced in the technology startup community, which has a thriving presence in Singapore.
First Meta confirmed her death in a statement on its website but did not give a cause.
“The First Meta team is shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke,” it said. — AFP