Police are investigating death of two models found dead inside LA apartments
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@jourdinpauline/Facebook/Sharon Maria Coats Wake
Police have launched an investigation into the death of two models found dead inside their LA apartments within days of each other.
The body of 32-year-old Nichole Coats was discovered on 10 September in her apartment on 8th Street and Grand Avenue.
Then, just two days after Coats' body was found (12 September), 31-year-old Maleesa Mooney was also found dead in her downtown Los Angeles apartment in the 200 block of South Figueroa Street just three miles away.
Coat's cause of death has not yet been determined, with the LAPD telling People that her death is not currently being looked as a homicide.
But a homicide investigation may begin following the LA County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner report.
Coats' cousin had a key to her apartment and let herself in to see if she was home, which is where she subsequently found her unresponsive before calling 911.
Her mother, Sharon Coats, told KTLA: "This is senseless and I want some answers because my daughter is gone.
"And it’s not fair. I want everybody to find out who did this to her. She shouldn’t be gone."
She went on: "I don’t know who she went out with or what transpired there. I have no idea but I’m going to find out.
"So if you’re out there, you’re going to get caught. You’re messing with the wrong person."
"I couldn’t recognize her," her aunt, May Stevens, told KTLA. "I believe it was murder, I really do. 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."
Mooney's case, however, is being investigated as a homicide after police officers found her after responding to a 'welfare check' at her apartment.
"The investigation revealed that Maleesa Mooney had been murdered inside of her apartment. Maleesa Mooney’s exact cause of death is unknown, pending a post-mortem examination which will be conducted by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office," LAPD said in a statement last week (15 September).
Mooney's cousin, Bailey Babb, told KTLA: "When a week went by, we just knew something was off.
"Her messages weren’t delivering and we knew something was up because we all have a special relationship with Maleesa."
Mooney's sister, Jourdin Pauline, also offered a tribute to her: "Maleesa has always been someone who is a peacemaker in our family, someone that’s always been the backbone, and making sure everyone’s getting together, loving on each other."
She added: "So this is a really big piece of us that’s gone now."
It's currently unknown whether the two deaths are linked.
The Los Angeles Police Department is requesting the public’s help in identifying any and all persons responsible for Maleesa Mooney’s death.
Anyone with additional information is urged to call Detective Pierce or Marcinek, Los Angeles Police Department, Central Bureau Homicide, at (213) 996-4150.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.