The body of Los Angeles-based model, Maleesa Mooney, was discovered in her refrigerator, her mouth gagged and limbs bound, with traces of cocaine detected in her system. The LA County Medical Examiner’s Office had earlier this month declared her death as a result of “homicidal violence”. The chilling specifics of how the 31-year-old’s body was found in her Downtown LA residence were disclosed in an autopsy report late last week.
The autopsy revealed blunt force injuries to Mooney’s face, head, back, and upper left arm. Toxicology tests also indicated the presence of benzoylecgonine, a cocaine metabolite, along with a combination of cocaethylene and ethanol in her system. Mooney was pregnant at the time of her death, according to her sister.
The autopsy report stated that the blunt force injuries, while not typically life-threatening on their own, suggested that Mooney was likely involved in a violent physical altercation before her death. The role that drugs and alcohol may have played in her death remains uncertain.
Mooney was found deceased in her South Figueroa Street apartment on September 12, following a welfare check requested by her mother. Upon entering the apartment, officers discovered a pool of blood beneath her lifeless body, which was wedged in the refrigerator.
The extensive blunt force injuries on her body and the condition in which it was found led coroner officials to rule her death a homicide. There was also evidence suggesting that Mooney had been strangled.
Mooney’s iCloud account showed an alert indicating that someone was using her devices, leading her family to believe that her killer was attempting to sell her iPhone and MacBook. Mooney’s sister, Jourdin Pauline, also a model, revealed to a local TV station that Mooney was two months pregnant at the time of her death and had always dreamed of becoming a mother.
Mooney had recently moved into a luxury apartment building. Her death has caused alarm among local residents, particularly as another model, Nichole “Nikki” Coats, was found dead in her own Downtown LA apartment just two days prior to Mooney. Coats’ family initially suspected foul play, but an autopsy report revealed that she had died of an accidental overdose of cocaine and alcohol.
The LAPD has stated that there is no evidence to suggest a connection between the two models’ deaths.