A chilling autopsy report on the death of Los Angeles model Maleesa Mooney revealed she had been beaten and bound before being stuffed into her own refrigerator.
Mooney, 31, was found dead in her downtown Los Angeles apartment on 12 September and her cause of death was “homicidal violence,” according to an autopsy report obtained by KTLA. She had been wedged in the refrigerator with pooled blood beneath it.
Her wrists and her feet were bound together, connected to each other behind her back. The bindings were a mix of various electrical cords. An apparent gag made out of an article of clothing was stuffed in her mouth, according to the autopsy.
The autopsy also revealed Mooney had suffered blunt force trauma to parts of her body. Toxicology tests found traces of cocaine and alcohol in her system, according to the autopsy report.
"The blunt force traumatic injuries observed at autopsy are generally not considered acutely life threatening on their own," the medical examiner wrote in the autopsy report.
“However, based on the circumstances of how Ms Mooney was found, these injuries suggest she was likely involved in violence physical altercation prior to her death.”
Because of this, it was concluded that it is “uncertain” what role drugs or alcohol may have played in her death, if any, the report states.
Mooney’s sister, Jourdin Pauline, previously told People that Mooney was two months pregnant at the time of her death.
Her death was heavily reported alongside the mysterious death of another LA-based model, Nichole Coats, who was found dead in her apartment two days before Mooney.
There were several similarities between the two cases: both models, both similar ages, both found in their apartments in LA.
But despite this, the Los Angeles Police Department said back in September that there was no evidence linking the two cases together.
Last week, Coats’ death was ruled accidental by the city’s medical examiner.
Coats, 32, who was found dead in her luxury apartment on 10 September, died from “cocaine and ethanol toxicity” according to authorities. Ethanol toxicity is caused by the consumption of a large amount of alcohol.
The alarm was raised last month after her friends told the model’s father that they could not get hold of her, so he went over and let himself in with a spare key.
“She was covered up and I went over and I said ‘Nichole?’ and I touched her arm and she was just like stone,” he said to KTLA at the time.
While May Stevens, the model’s aunt, had suspicions of “foul play,” authorities have found no evidence of that claim.
Many of her loved ones told news outlets they believed her death was suspicious.
“I believe it was murder, I really do,” Ms Stevens also told KTLA at the time. “One of her legs was up in the air in a kicking position. That’s not somebody who just laid in their bed and died.”
Her mother also told ABC7 about her suspicions.
“I’m devastated that it happened to Nichole. This is horrible... it’s like a dream, that my daughter’s going to walk through the door and she’s not, her mother Sharon Coats told People.
“She’s gone. I’m just trying to piece everything together, but I still feel that something fishy is going on.”
Coats, who was working as a beauty sales rep at the time and was an aspiring model, was due to fly to Cancun, Mexico with friends before her untimely death.