LOS ANGELES — Police said Tuesday that their investigation into the deaths of two models who were found in their downtown Los Angeles apartments has so far resulted in “no evidence to suggest that the deaths … are related to one another.”
Maleesa Mooney, 31, was found dead in her apartment on the 200 block of South Figueroa Street at around 3:55 p.m. on Sept. 12. Police said she had been killed but described her cause of death only as unknown pending an autopsy. Mooney’s cause of death has been listed by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner as “deferred.”
Nichole Coats was found dead inside her apartment on the 700 block of Grand Avenue on Sept. 10. Police were conducting a welfare check on Coats, 32, at around 10 a.m., but no one responded at her apartment. About two hours later, police were called and someone reported finding a body at the home.
The cause of her death also has been listed by the coroner as “deferred.”
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that Mooney’s death was being investigated as a homicide, and Coats’ death was “being handled as a death investigation.”
“Since both cases remain active investigations, details about either case will not be released,” the LAPD statement said. “However, based on the investigations thus far, there is no evidence to suggest that the deaths of Ms. Coats and Ms. Mooney are related to one another.”
Anyone with information on either case was urged to call Detectives Pierce or Marcinek of the LAPD Central Bureau Homicide Division at 213-996-4150, or 877-LAPD-247. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or go to www.lacrimestoppers.org.
“Nikki’s vibrant personality was one that touched and affected everyone she crossed paths with. She is known as an amazing daughter, friend and soul. Her untimely passing has left us shocked,” according to a GoFundMe page created for Coats to help with funeral expenses.
Mooney was the sister of Guyanese pop singer Jourdin Pauline, who posted a tribute to her sibling on Instagram last week.
“My heart is crushed, I can’t believe you won’t be here with us anymore. You were so loving and so kind to everyone. You made sure if you ate everyone around you was too. You opened your arms to people who didn’t deserve you as a friend. You’re the best thing to happen to almost everyone’s lives you touched!!!”
She added, “The reason I’m me is because of you!!! … My first best friend the one who taught me everything I know!!!!! How is this even possible you won’t be here. … This feels so surreal. I keep waking up crying thinking I’m in a bad dream. We will get justice for you my sister. I promise you won’t be gone in vain!!!”