LOS ANGELES – In a time span of two days, two female models were found dead in their luxury apartments in downtown Los Angeles. The residences are less than one mile apart and family members of one of the women fear that a killer is on the loose, according to reports.
Los Angeles police officers responded and discovered 32-year-old Nichole “Nikki” Coats dead in her apartment after family members were unable to contact her on Sept. 10, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Maleesa Mooney, 31, was found dead Sept. 12 in her Bunker Hill apartment on South Figueroa Street after she stopped responding to text messages and calls from her concerned family. Her death is being investigated as a homicide, police said, Fox 11 Los Angeles reported.
However, Coats death is not being investigated as a homicide, according to police and the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
LAPD Officer Drake Madison said Saturday night that he has “no idea” about the circumstances of Coats’ death and that “we had no information of any type of homicide or anything. We couldn’t find anything on that. … It could be anything.”
Asked about Coats on Saturday, Lt. Ricardo Lopez of the coroner’s office confirmed the date and location of her death, and said it is under “active investigation.” But, he added, “the cause of death is deferred so we don’t have any cause of death to give you at this time. … That’s subject to change, but at this time, no.”
It’s unclear if the two deaths are linked or have any similarities, since details remain sparse.
Coats’ family members told KTLA that her bed was found bloodied.
“This is senseless and I want some answers because my daughter is gone,” Sharon Coats, Nikki’s mother, told the news outlet. “And it’s not fair. I want everybody to find out who did this to her. She shouldn’t be gone.”
“When a week went by, we just knew something was off,” her cousin Bailey Babb told KTLA. “Her messages weren’t delivering and we knew something was up because we all have a special relationship with Maleesa.”
Coats’ family said they did not initially recognize her when they discovered her body. (Facebook via New York Post)
Her sister, Jourdin Pauline, described the model as a kind, loving person and the entire ordeal seems to be a mystery.
“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,” Pauline told the outlet. “So this is a really big piece of us that’s gone now.”
According to LAPD, Mooney’s cause of death remains unknown pending autopsy results. However, detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying a possible suspect.
Meanwhile, Coats’ family is devastated and expressed their frustration about a lack of information from authorities.
Friends last heard from Coats Sept. 8 when she was going out on a date. When she didn’t respond to later calls and text messages, her family went to her apartment on Sept. 10 and discovered her body at the scene, the New York Post reported.
“I couldn’t recognize her,” May Stevens, the woman’s aunt, 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.”
Sharon said her daughter had no enemies but believes she died at the hands of another.
“I don’t know who she went out with or what transpired there,” the grieving mom said. “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.”
Another family member, Coats’ cousin Sheniya Mason told ABC 7: “I was so distraught … I just felt like everything was moving in slow motion. And I still am in shock … in denial that she’s not here.”
She said the death “just didn’t look right to us … Didn’t look right how she was positioned in the bed. She was even unrecognizable … as if she’d been beat.
“They had to (identify) her by her tattoos,” Mason said.
She wondered about whether there was a link between the two deaths.
“We just want to know what happened … It just doesn’t seem right … Is there a correlation between these two females? Is there a correlation?” she told the station.
“They were both almost in the same area … we need to make sure that this isn’t something else because it just didn’t seem right,” Mason added.
The family also expressed its concerns that a killer might strike another woman.
“I feel that there’s a predator loose,” Stevens told KTLA.
Coats’ father is divorced from her mother. He had a differing opinion, saying, “My initial, was that, it looked like she might have just went in her sleep.” Nevertheless, he’s waiting for the coroner’s report before coming to any conclusions.
Both cases remain under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 1-877-527-3247.