Arrest Made in Brutal Killing of LA Model Maleesa Mooney

Maleesa Mooney, an aspring model whose body was found in her Los Angeles apartment last month, died as a result of "homicidal violence, according to the autopsy report. (Credit: Instagram/@jourdinpauline)

A Minnesota man has been arrested in connection with the September slaying of model Maleesa Mooney, who was beaten, bound and stuffed inside the refrigerator in her downtown Los Angeles apartment.

The LAPD announced the arrest on Wednesday, Feb. 21, in a press release.

Police identified the suspect as Magnus Daniel Humphrey, 41. He was taken into custody at his home in Hopkins, Minnesota, on an unrelated federal warrant, according to the LAPD.

Related StoryModel Maleesa Mooney Was Beaten and Left in Her Refrigerator, Autopsy Says

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has filed murder charges against Humphrey, who was on probation for federal drug offenses at the time of his arrest.

“Humphrey waived extradition and will be transported back to Los Angeles to face charges,” the LAPD said. It’s unclear what led authorities to name him as a suspect in the case.

Mooney, 31, was found dead on Sept. 12, 2023, inside her luxury apartment in the 200 block of South Figueroa Street.

She worked as a model and real estate agent. Her family was unable to reach her and notified authorities.

LAPD officers got a key to her apartment from the building manager. Once they entered the unit, officers noticed blood under the refrigerator and found her body inside, as previously reported.

When the autopsy report was released the following month, it said she suffered blunt force injuries on her head and face, and had a fractured rib. The killer bound her wrists and ankles with electrical cords.

“These bindings were tied to each other behind her back,” the autopsy report said. Clothing was stuffed in her mouth and used as a gag.

The coroner’s office listed her cause of death as “homicidal violence.” The report on the coroner’s online records database said the manner of death was homicide. The place of death was listed as a residence.

The autopsy also found traces of cocaine in her system.

Mooney was the sister of pop singer Jourdin Pauline. In an Oct. 3 interview with NewsNation, Pauline said her sister had injuries from “her head to her toes,” and she had been tortured over an extended period of time.

Pauline added that Mooney was two months pregnant when she died.

Mooney was one of two Black models who died in the area just days apart. The other woman, 32-year-old Nichole Coats, was found deceased inside her apartment on Grand Avenue on Sept. 10.

The autopsy later determined Coats’ death was caused by cocaine and ethanol (alcohol) toxicity. Her manner of death was listed as accidental.