A Cambridge student who broke open a plane door over Madagascar and jumped to her death from 5000ft had suffered a flurry of 'paranoia' attacks while on the island, it emerged today.
Alana Cutland, 19, from Milton Keynes, threw herself from a Cessna reportedly rented by her worried parents Neil and Alison who were bringing her back to the UK after a series of fraught phone calls and desperate email exchanges with their eldest child.
A British companion Ruth Johnson, 51, and the pilot had clung on to her legs for several minutes - but she broke free from their 'exhausted' grip and jumped to her death on the morning of Thursday July 25.
Teams are searching for her body but there are fears that it may not be found because she jumped into a remote area of the Madagascan jungle filled with carnivorous wild animals including the panther-like fossa mongoose.
Police have released an extraordinary image of officers recreating the student's final moments based on the statements of the two other people on board.
The second-year Biological Natural Sciences student was on a self-funded study trip where she was analysing the Indian Ocean seabed and the rare endangered crabs living there.
Local police chief Sinola Nomenjahary said: 'The victim is a student asking for a lot of moral support. She had suffered a paranoia attack five times. The witnesses claimed that Alana had difficulty managing her private life and her research.
'She was in regular contact with her parents to whom she receives moral support. She did not handle her stresses well'.
Alana Cutland, 19, from Milton Keynes, pictured with her parents Alison and Neil, who were bringing her home to Britain from Madagascar after she became unwell on her research trip
Authorities shared this photo, a recreation of Ruth Johnson and the pilot's attempts to save Alana and stop her from jumping out. She fell from the Cessna-style light aircraft while it was above the east African country, about ten minutes after take-off
Alana was thought to be travelling back from a research trip to the remote area of Anjajavy
Alana had been due to stay on Madagascar for six weeks, but cut it short after just eight days following the conversations with her mother Alison, an executive at Cranfield University School of Management and energy consultant Neil Cutland, both 63.
Cambridge University student Alana Cutland, 19, fell to her death from a light aircraft above Madagascar after reportedly forcing open the door and jumping from 5000ft
The family rented a small plane to take her from a lodge on the north of the island to Madagascar's Ivato Antananarivo international airport where she would have flown to Paris and then on to London, according to the Midi-Madagasikara newspaper. But five minutes after take-off she jumped.
Alana and her parents had several intense and agitated phone calls in the days and hours leading up to her death and she was suffering from 'stress' and 'paranoia', reports on the island have claimed.
Mr and Mrs Cutland convinced researcher Ruth Johnson, 51, to accompany her on the five-seat Cessna-type aircraft because they were worried about their eldest daughter.
Alana broke open the door and fought with Ms Johnson and the pilot as they tried to drag her back into the cabin, Madagascar police chief Nomenjahary has said.
Mr Nomenjahary said the student had suffered five 'paranoia attacks' while on the 'failed' research trip to see rare Madagascan crustaceans.
Alana was around ten minutes into the flight back from a research trip to a remote lodge in Anjajavy, northern Madagascar, where she was studying several rare species of crabs.
Police chief Nomenjahary say they have pieced together what happened in the minutes before Alana died
He said: 'The Cessna C168 aircraft was taking off from Anjajavy with three people aboard, including Ms Johnson, Alana and the pilot.
'After 10 minutes of flight, Alana undid her seatbelt and unlocked the right door of the plane and tried to get out.
'Ms Johnson fought for five minutes trying to hold her, but when she was exhausted and out of breath she let go.
'Alana then intentionally fell from an aircraft at 1130 metres (5,000ft) above sea level.
'She dropped into a zone which is full of with carnivorous Fossa felines.'
Police are now investigating reports that she opened the plane's door and jumped to her death
Alana's family have asked for privacy following her death and paid tribute to the 19-year-old
Alana was travelling back from a research trip to a remote lodge in Anjajavy where she