Two models were found dead in their luxury apartments in downtown Los Angeles last week, authorities confirmed Saturday.
The Sept. 12 death of Maleesa Mooney, 31, is being investigated as a murder, according to the LAPD. The death of a second model, Nichole Coats, 32, on September 10 is not currently being investigated as a homicide, according to both the LAPD and the Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. Los Angeles County.
It is unclear whether there is a connection between the two incidents.
But members of Coats’ family – who gave their name as Nikki – said in a tearful interview with KTLA-5 that they believe she was murdered.
“I couldn’t recognize her,” said Coats’ aunt, May Stevens, describing her niece’s appearance when family members discovered her lifeless body in her luxury apartment in the 700 block of Grand Avenue. “I think it was murder, I really do. One of his legs was in the air in a kicking position. This isn’t someone who just laid down in bed and died.
Coats’ mother, Sharon Coats, told the news station that the scene of her daughter’s death was bloody and gruesome. The family could not be reached for comment Saturday evening.
LAPD Officer Drake Madison said Saturday night that he had “no idea” about the circumstances of Coats’ death and that “we had no information about any type of homicide or anything.” either. We couldn’t find anything about this. …It could be anything.
When asked about Coats on Saturday, Lt. Ricardo Lopez of the coroner’s office confirmed the date and location of his death and said it was under “active investigation.” But, he added, “the cause of death is deferred, so we don’t have a cause of death to give you at this time… That’s subject to change, but at this time, no.”
A GoFundMe to raise money to cover Coats’ funeral expenses had raised more than $11,000 as of Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, the LAPD investigates Mooney’s death as a murder.
Police found Mooney’s body Tuesday afternoon while responding to a radio call for a welfare check at an apartment in the 200 block of South Figueroa Street, according to a press release from the department.
The LAPD said Mooney’s cause of death remains unknown pending an autopsy. The department said in the release that it is seeking the public’s help in identifying the person or persons responsible for his death.
Los Angeles Times