Ex-Penthouse Model Found Dead at Camp Pendelton Beach

Investigators aren't sure whether Anneka Vasta committed suicide

US New York Artist H.R. Giger And Anneka Di Lorenzo

Navy Criminal Investigative Service officials are looking to the public for help to solve the death of a former Penthouse model whose body was found in an restricted piece of Camp Pendleton beach.

Anneka Vasta, known as Anneka Di Lorenzo in the 1970s, was found with a broken neck and back on the base on January 4.

Vasta was known for being the 1975 Penthouse Pet of the Year and appeared in the 1979 movie "Caligula," which was co-produced by the late Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione – a man she later sued and won a case against for sexual harassment, according to the New York Times.

Back in January, joggers reportedly found Vasta’s body washed-up along a beach where Marines train.

Vasta, 58, was raising a daughter and working as a nursing assistant in Los Angeles just before her death, according to NCIS. An autopsy showed she drowned, however her family and NCIS investigators are now asking for public's help in closing the case.

Investigators reportedly do not know if she committed suicide or may have met with foul play around New Year's Eve.

Had she jumped off the roughly 60-foot sea cliff, investigators don't believe her body would have ended up in the water.

Vasta was born Marjorie Thoreson and left her home at the age of 14 for Los Angeles where she later established herself. In 1990 she won a lawsuit against Guccione for sexual harassment and was awarded more than $4 million in 1990 by a New York judge.

Vasta was divorced at the time of her death and reportedly in and out of jobs.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune she lived with her sister in Sherman Oaks and took a Lithium-based drug for a mood disorder and Xanax for anxiety.

NCIS investigators determined Vasta left Los Angeles on January 2 just before 6 a.m. and later got a room at the Motel 6 on Raintree Drive, near South Carlsbad State Beach.

The Union-Tribune reported that she never checked out, and there's no evidence she ever used the room.

Vasta's cellphone records show she drove around until about 8:30 a.m., making calls to family and friends. The last call was placed from the vicinity of the I-5 vista parking area.

When investigators discovered the car, her phone and purse were still in it. So were Vatsa's leopard-print blouse and a sports bra, stained with blood and wrapped in a plastic bag.

A bloody steak knife was also found on the passenger floorboard. The blood was matched to Vasta, according to officials.

Along with the broken neck and back, an autopsy showed shallow cuts on Vasta's wrists and two stab wounds to her chest, none of which would have caused her death.

Investigators said there was no sign of sexual assault.

Anyone who saw the youthful-looking blonde in the area on Jan. 2, or her car, was asked call the NCIS office at (760) 725-5150. Cellphone tips can be texted to 274637.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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