An 18-year-old convicted thief plunged to her death from the 17th floor of a block of flats in south-east London in an apparent bid to escape police.
Scotland Yard faces an inquiry from the police watchdog after it emerged officers were attempting to recall her to prison when she fell from a window.
The woman had been convicted in connection with three street robberies in London in 2009, and was out on licence after serving part of her sentence, Scotland Yard said.
Neighbours described how the “friendly” teenager’s death was witnessed by children on the estate. Witnesses also said a row could be heard from the flat before she fell.
Neighbour Prince Langlais, 42, criticised police for the time it took to cover the woman’s body from the public.
“There were young kids out there running up and saying ‘look at the body and all the blood’.”
A post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out.
Police arrived at the flat in Mulgrave Road, Woolwich, “to carry out an arrest inquiry” and officers said the woman was alone in a bedroom, with the door half open, when she fell.
A man, understood to be her boyfriend, was arrested at the time on suspicion of assisting an offender. He has since been bailed.
The incident has been referred to both the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and the force’s Directorate of Professional Standards.