Witnesses told police that 30-year-old LaShawna Threatt and a second woman were "play wrestling" in a room at the W Midtown Hotel around 3:15 a.m. when they crashed into a window and fell four or five stories onto a slanted glass ceiling above a sunroom.
"They were play wrestling and the next thing you know, they went toward the window and through the window and out they went," said Lt. Paul Guerrucci, commander of the Atlanta Police Department's homicide unit.
Rescuers found Threatt, the mother of a 15-year-old daughter, dead on the sunroom roof.
The second woman, whom police would not identify, tumbled off that same roof and fell onto an outdoor patio outside the hotel. She was taken to Grady Hospital with multiple broken bones and other injuries and listed in critical condition Saturday evening. Friends say Threatt was the best friend of the injured woman.
"According to the witnesses, there was no arguing during the hours leading up to this, either, so it's really a tragic accident," Guerrucci said.
None of the handful of people in the hotel room has been charged with any crimes. Guerrucci would not comment on whether alcohol could have played a role in the accident. Authorities were waiting on blood tests taken from the victim.
Threatt worked as a model, doing liquor promotions and appearing in print ads. She started celebrating her birthday Friday by eating with friends at a restaurant, then went to the hotel room for an after party, said Jomarys Castillo, 24, a friend who attended the dinner but left before the hotel party.
"She was extremely charismatic - she could talk to anyone," Castillo said.
Hotel manager Michael O'Donohue referred all questions about the death to police, citing the ongoing investigation. The hotel remained open Saturday.
"The incident at the W Atlanta early Saturday is very tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with the woman who was injured and the family and friends of the woman who died in the fall," he said in a statement.
Ray Henry can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/rhenryAP.