Baillee Schneider was a beautiful, vibrant 25 year old woman from Melbourne, Australia. Her social media accounts show stunning photos of Baillee and her gorgeous friends on tropical beaches in their swimwear, living their best lives. She had a full social life and she was studying to become a clinical aesthetician.
One Saturday morning in June 2018, Baillee was spending a lazy day on the couch with her phone in the home she shared with her parents, Sabine and Cameron. They told her they were popping to the shops to get some groceries.
After her parents left, Baillee poured a glass of wine and smoked a cigarette. She was still seemingly upset about a fight she had with her boyfriend the night before. And what happened next was unthinkable.
When her parents returned home, they walked into the kitchen and found Baillee slumped against the skirting boards on a cupboard in the corner. She had a gold cord tied around her neck. She was dead.
No public ruling on her cause of death has been made. Police are continuing to investigate unanswered questions under guidance from the Victorian Coroner. There was no obvious place in the kitchen that Baillee could have hanged herself from. She left no suicide note and in an odd twist, she had taken out a life insurance policy on herself, three weeks before her death.
If Baillee did kill herself, what led up to her decision? Her last months seemed quite tumultuous. She had started working at strip clubs and her parents noticed that she seemed to be hiding more from them and became quite distant. Nine months before her death, she started dating Antony Hampel – a 51 year old socialite.
If the name Ant Hampel sounds familiar to you, it may be because of his past involvement with Phoebe Handsjuk. Phoebe’s life and sad death were the feature of the 2016 podcast series called ‘Phoebe’s Fall.’
Ant and Phoebe were partners and lived together in Ant’s luxury apartment in St Kilda Road in Melbourne. Their relationship had many ups and downs. Phoebe moved out and moved back in. She allegedly started drinking and taking prescription drugs. Ant said she had been hanging out with ‘lowlifes’ and people he did not approve of. Their relationship was volatile, to say the least.
The days leading up to Phoebe’s death are filled with strange occurrences and the details of what actually happened vary according to who is asked.
The night before her death, she sent a strange text to many of her family and friends – Hi family. I am in bed and about to sleep and when I WAKE I will transform into the most incredible human bein you’ve ever seen … (not). I will go to hospital. It’s safer there and I hear the special tonight is tomato soup … Delicious! Nutritious! I love you all very much but not enough to send an individual text. Sorry about that, but time is sleep and I must b on my way … … Merrily, merrily, merrily. Life is but a dream. Xo
Ant woke up the next morning and left for the gym by 8.15am. Phoebe’s grandmother Jeanette was worried about the strange text she had received the night before and when she couldn’t get hold of her granddaughter, she contacted Ant. He promised to swing by their apartment and check on Phoebe. It’s unclear if Ant followed through on his promise at this time.
What has been verified through the use of electronic key fobs and other data is that Ant arrived home at 6.05pm that night. He took the lift to their 12th floor apartment and upon entering, he noticed that Phoebe’s bag and keys were on the bench but there was no sign of her. He thought this was strange as you need your keys to both exit and enter their apartment complex. He assumed Phoebe hadn’t gone far and would return soon, and he told her father Len that when he called to see where Phoebe was.
According to crimereads.com – Several Post-it notes containing strange scribbles were stuck to the kitchen counter. The cleaner had wiped the benches down the previous day, so the notes were new. He went into the bedroom and found what he later called a ‘shrine’ on the bed, consisting of a photo of himself and Phoebe, a photo of her cat, and a whole lot of ‘rambled notes … the notes she writes when she’s smashed and they don’t make a lot of sense’, as he later described them. There were candles burning, and Phoebe’s hair-straightening tongs were on the floor, plugged into a socket in the bathroom.
Ant called a local Chinese restaurant to order takeaway food for one. The delivery person arrived at around 8.00pm. When he bought the food to Ant, he asked what was going on in the building – ‘The front of the building is swarming with cops. There’s police cars, ambulance—I had to prop my bike up the street. Hope your dinner isn’t cold.’
Ant took the lift to the lobby where he spoke to Acting Senior Sergeant Andrew Healey about what was going on. When he was told that a woman’s body had been found in the rubbish room, Ant said “Oh no! My girlfriend is missing! Could it be her?”
Ant was asked if Phoebe had any distinguishing features and he provided a recent photo of her. Once he described her tattoos, the police told him that the features matched that of the deceased woman.
For a great overview of the night Phoebe died and the unusual circumstances surrounding her death, check out ‘An Australian Death and a Suspicious Ruling of Suicide by Crime Reads
Following an autopsy and toxicology, it was established that Phoebe had slid down the rubbish shute from the 12th floor to the ground. Upon landing, the blade from the rubbish compactor had severed her ankle and she essentially bled to death. The Toxicology report revealed Phoebe had a blood alcohol reading of 0.16% and high levels of prescription drugs.
The investigation into Phoebe’s death spanned years. A podcast was created, books were written and the family called for a second coronial inquest into her death. Many people believe that Phoebe was murdered and that her death should not have been ruled a suicide. If you have a few spare days (really!), check out some of the links below and let us know your thoughts about what happened to Phoebe.
And now, 9 years later, we are back in an eerily similar position. A beautiful young woman is now dead after a tumultuous relationship with Ant Hampel. And an investigation into what happened to her is ongoing. It is believed that Ant is one of the last people to have communicated with Baillee. Does the fact that Ant is the son of retired Supreme Court judge George Hampel and the stepson of County Court judge Felicity Hampel have anything to do with what has happened, both in the past and to Baillee now?
According to The Age newspaper, after Baillee’s death, her mother Sabine contacted Mr Hampel, who she has never met, to let him know the grim news. He expressed his sympathy and added that he had been trying to help her blossom.
He was not among the 150 or more people who attended the celebration of Ms Schneider’s life at a memorial service at a Kensington hall.
There is no suggestion that Ant Hampel had anything to do with the death of Baillee Schneider.
Deputy Coroner Caitlin English said a review by experienced homicide detective Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Rowe of the circumstances of Ms Schneider’s death found that it was due to self-inflicted asphyxiation in the family home.
A toxicology report showed Baillee had three times the legal driving alcohol limit and traces of cocaine in her bloodstream at the time of her death. Her parents found a half to three-quarter finished bottle of red wine when they discovered their daughter’s body.