New Details in Coronado Mansion Mystery - NBC 7 San Diego

New Details in Coronado Mansion Mystery



    Two days after the discovery of a woman, nude and bound, hanging from the second-story balcony of Coronado’s Spreckels Mansion, San Diego County sheriff’s investigators have released no new information in what caused her death.

    Homicide detectives had autopsy results Friday but were waiting for forensics and lab work to be completed before updating the media on whether the death of Rebecca Nalepa, 32, as bizarre as it may be, was in fact a crime.

    Nalepa, also known as Rebecca Zahau, was the girlfriend of pharmaceutical company executive Jonah Shacknai who owns the mansion on Ocean Boulevard.

    She was found Wednesday morning by Shacknai’s brother Adam. Her nude body was hanging from a rope on a second-floor balcony with her hands tied behind her back and her feet bound.

    New Details in Coronado Mansion Mystery

    [DGO] New Details in Coronado Mansion Mystery
    As new information comes out, people have gathered to create a makeshift memorial outside the home where Rebecca Zahau Nalepa, 32, was found dead Wednesday.
    (Published Saturday, July 16, 2011)

    Detectives are contacting the victim’s family and coordinating interviews.

    “I’m in shock. This is overwhelming,” Neil Nalepa, the victim’s ex-husband told an Arizona television reporter Thursday.

    “I’m just trying to wrap my head around it.”

    Friend Doubts Coronado Death a Suicide

    [DGO] Friend Doubts Coronado Death a Suicide
    Rebecca Nalepa, who went by her maiden name, Rebecca Zahau, was found dead Wednesday morning at Spreckels Mansion in Coronado. A friend of the 32-year-old woman said she was a "survivor" who wouldn't commit suicide.
    (Published Friday, July 15, 2011)

    Nalepa's sister told one media outlet that she spoke with her sister around midnight Tuesday.

    Mary Zahau-Loehner of Saint Joseph, Mo. told ABC News “She was normal, fine, just getting ready to go to bed."

    A former employer, who knew the victim as Rebecca Zahau, said he hopes justice can be served.

    Michael Trier, CEO of Horizon Eye Specialists & Lasik Center, said Zahau worked as a Certified Ophthalmic Technician from April 2008 until December 2010.

    "Rebecca was a high energy person," Trier said. "She was terrific with our patients."

    One of last people to see Nalepa alive says she was "subdued" and quiet on Tuesday, the day before her body was found.

    Details Released in Coronado Death

    [DGO] Details Released in Coronado Death
    Rebecca Nalepa, also known as Rebecca Zahau, was found dead Wednesday morning at the Spreckels Mansion, owned by her boyfriend, Jonah Shacknai. It is not yet known whether the 32-year-old woman's death, described by police as "suspicious" and "violent," was a homicide.
    (Published Thursday, July 14, 2011)

    Ted Greenberg of a local dog daycare company came to the mansion Monday morning to pick up the family dog, a 14-month old Weimaraner named Ocean.

    “A woman named Rebecca asked us if we could come and pick up her dog because her kid was in an accident, in the hospital and in a coma, and she wanted to go to the hospital and not worry about her dog,” Greenberg said.

    The accident involved Jonah Shacknai's 6-year old son with his ex-wife.

    On Monday, paramedics found the boy was not breathing and did not have a pulse after falling down some stairs, said Coronado Police Chief Louis Scanlon.

    The boy was being treated at Rady's Children's Hospital San Diego. Hospital spokesman Carlos Delgado declined to comment on his condition Thursday.

    Sheriff's investigators have not established any connection between the woman's death and the boy’s injury.

    As of Friday, investigators had not determined if Nalepa was a crime victim or if her death was a suicide.

    A friend of Nalepa, who asked not to be identified, said the woman she knew was born in Burma, attended a Christian Bible College in Austria and would never consider suicide.

    Court documents show that Napela was arrested on shoplifting charges in August of 2009 in Phoenix , Arizona, but the case was later dimissed by the court.