Woman falls to her death from rooftop of the W Hotel

UPDATE: Hotel roof plunge was likely suicide, sources say

A woman fell to her death from an upper floor of a hotel across from the White House grounds late Wednesday night, authorities said.

Witnesses told a police officer that the woman had been drinking at the bar on the rooftop patio of the W hotel, and that she climbed over a fence on the patio.

D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said witnesses told authorities that the woman was then seen hanging by her hands from an overhang one story below the rooftop around 11 p.m.

The woman then dropped about 10 stories, Piringer said witnesses reported. She was declared dead at the scene, Piringer said.

Uniformed Secret Service officers and D.C. police were at the scene late last night, and all lanes of 15th St. NW were shut down from New York Avenue south to Pennsylvania Avenue.

The woman was not immediately identified.

The boutique hotel, at 515 15th St. NW, is across from the White House, and the rooftop bar there is a popular attraction.

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Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.

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