Maleesa Mooney, an aspiring model whose body was found last month in downtown Los Angeles, died as a result of “homicidal violence,” according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
Mooney, 31, died on Sept. 12, inside her luxury apartment in the 200 block of South Figueroa Street.
The preliminary autopsy report on the coroner’s online records database, said her manner of death was homicide. The place of death was listed as a residence.
Her heartbroken sister, Jourdin Pauline, discussed the case during an Oct. 3 interview with NewsNation.
She said Mooney was two months pregnant at the time of her death, and was brutally attacked.
“The people at the mortuary don’t even want us to see her because they said it’s traumatic. The guy at the mortuary started crying for us,” Pauline said through tears.
A devastated Pauline said the attack went on for some time and her sister had injuries from “her head to her toes.”
“Both of her ankles were broken, her hands, her legs,” she said. “It’s very gruesome details. She was definitely in a struggle. It wasn’t something that quickly happened.”
She said her sister’s laptop and phone were missing from her apartment. She added that Los Angeles police have spoken to the family, but detectives don’t want to give out too much information about the case.
Pauline is a singer and actress who has been featured on Disney Channel’s Shake it Up, America’s Next Top Model, CSI Miami, and The Last OG, according to her personal website. Her music videos on YouTube have millions of views.
Mooney worked as a model and real estate agent. Last month her family was unable to establish contact with her and notified authorities.
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 dead inside her apartment on Grand Avenue on Sept. 10.
Police initiated a welfare check at her residence around 10 a.m., but received no response. About two hours later, authorities were alerted to the discovery of a body at her home.
The coroner’s office said Coats’ cause of death was deferred pending further investigation.
The two women’s deaths raised concerns that young women were being targeted in the area. However, on Sept. 19, the Los Angeles Police Department released a statement saying “there is no evidence to suggest that the deaths of Ms. Coats and Ms. Mooney are related to one another.”
No arrests have been announced in either case.
Watch the news report below.