Attorney: Zahau Death Might Not Be Suicide

New details may re-open the case

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Nationally known attorney Anne Bremner says she's almost done with her investigation into the mysterious death of Rebecca Zahau.

    And now she's revealing some of her findings, which could re-open the case and shed new light on what happened at the Spreckels Mansion on July 13 when the body of Rebecca Zahau, 32, was found hanging from a balcony.

    Attorney Doubts Zahau Killed Herself

    [DGO] Attorney Doubts Zahau Killed Herself
    An attorney is looking at new evidence that could prove that Rebecca Zahau did not kill herself. (Published Thursday, Sep 22, 2011)

    "There's just been an outpouring, not only from the media, but from people all over who including experts who want to help, that don't believe it's a suicide,Bremner told NBC 7 in a phone interview."

    Bremner says she has a team of forensic experts working with her and they believe there is enough evidence to re-open the case which has already been ruled a suicide by three agencies including the San Diego County Sheriff's Homicide Unit.

    Zahau's Sister: Investigators Got It Wrong

    [DGO] Zahau's Sister: Investigators Got It Wrong
    Mary Zahau-Loehner waited seven weeks to find out what happened to her 32 year old sister Rebecca. When homicide detectives told her they are going to rule the death a suicide, Zahau-Loehner said no, they've got it all wrong. Tony Shin reports. (Published Friday, Sep 2, 2011)

    "Just because it's possible that someone committed suicide, doesn't mean that the case should be closed, Bremner said. "We know there were clumps of hair that they found, there were gloves found at the scene, I always suggested that if there is a killer that he used gloves and that's why they didn't leave their DNA and fingerprints."

    Bremner also points out that the doors are closed on the balcony where Zahau was found hanging.  "Did she turn around and close the doors before she hung herself off the side?"

    And what about the voicemail message that investigators say Zahau listened to on her cellphone at 12:50 that morning, just hours before her body was discovered.

    Bremner says detectives told family members the call originally came in at 12:30 and it was from Jonah Shacknai, informing Zahau that his six year old son Max was in grave condition.

    Investigators believe the guilt of Max's impending death pushed Zahau to kill herself.  But Bremner says Zahau's phone records tell a different story.

    "They're talking about a message that was erased, and her phone records don't indicate any incoming call prior to her demise."

    Bremner also says she found a neighbor who heard a woman screaming from the mansion at 11:30, more than an hour before investigators believe Zahau checked her voicemail.

    Bremner says that could mean Zahau died much sooner than investigators believe and she is now trying to get the cellphone so it can be examined by a forensic expert. 

    San Diego County Sheriff's spokesperson Lt. Larry Nesbit said investigators will re-examine Zahau's cellphone.

    "It's amazing to see how much information there is out there about this tragic death and clearly it's not a suicide, Bremner said."

    Bremner says investigators are aware of that neighbor who says she heard the screaming, but it's unclear if it made any difference in their investigation.

    Bremner is hoping this information will encourage the Attorney Generals Office and sheriff's department to re-open the investigation when she presents it sometime next week.

    Join the conversation. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.