A top model and cover girl who has appeared on the covers of glossy fashion magazines modelling Prada, L’Oreal and Elle has been found dead just days after her birthday.

Katerina Netolicka, who had only just turned 26, was found slumped in the bath along wiht the bodies of her two dogs. Katerina, who lived with her 29 year-old ice-hockey player boyfriend Jakub Petruzalek, was discovered by her brother. He had become worried when she failed to answer his repeated telephone calls and visited her house in the Czech Republic, only to make the anguishing discovery.

Katerina’s boyfriend was out of the Czech Republic because he was playing in a match in Russia; he plays for the Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg hockey club and he and Katerina had been in a relationship for five years.

Katerina Netolicka had just turned 26

Katerina Netolicka had just turned 26

After hammering on the apartment door to no avail, Katerina’s brother broke the door down and discovered the bodies of his sister and her two pet dogs.

As well as her successful modelling career, which began in 2004, Katerina was also celebrated for her kickboxing and won the Czech Championships last month; however, her friends say she was prone to depression.

A model and friend who shared an apartment with her when they were both based in New York, but wished to remain anonymous, said: “Sometimes she acted like two totally different people lived inside her. One minute she was very happy, almost ecstatic. Then sometimes she was depressed and used to self-harm.”

A spokeswoman for the Czech police, Lumila Svetlakova, said: “The body of young woman was found in Litvinov’s district of Hamr. The cause of death is at this moment unknown and we have requested an autopsy.”