The authorities in Los Angeles are currently investigating the tragic deaths of two models who were discovered deceased in their upscale downtown Los Angeles residences just days apart.
The Los Angeles Police Department has reported that Maleesa Mooney, a 31-year-old model and real estate agent, was found lifeless inside her apartment on South Figueroa Street in the 200 block around 4 p.m. on September 12th.
According to People LAPD spokesperson Norma Eisenman said “It is considered a homicide,”.
Though her manner of death is known, Mooney’s cause of death is still unknown, pending an autopsy. The County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner tells PEOPLE that causes of death can take up to four to six months to determine.
“When a week went by, we just knew something was off,” Maleesa Mooney’s 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.”
Maleesa’s sister Jourdin Pauline told the outlet that “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 said. “So this is a really big piece of us that’s gone now.”
Two days earlier, on Sept. 10, Nichole Coats, 32, was found dead by family members who grew concerned after she didn’t return calls or texts.
The LAPD said her death is not being looked at as a homicide.
“Right now, it is a death report pending a coroner’s outcome,” says Eisenman.
However, some members of Nichole’s family think foul play was involved.
“I think it was foul play,” Nichole’s mother Sharon Coats tells PEOPLE. “The police aren’t doing anything. They want to make it seem like there was no foul play. I just don’t buy it. I just want to rule it out.”
Nichole’s aunt May Stevens was one of the family members who found Nichole’s body.
“I couldn’t recognize her,” Stevens told KTLA. “I believe it was murder, I really do… I feel that there’s a predator loose.”
Coats says she spent four days with her daughter at her downtown apartment a few days before her death.
Nichole, who worked part-time as a model and as a beauty products salesperson, was just days away from a trip to Cancun, Mexico, with her friends.
“I had to cancel her flights,” she says. “She bought bikinis. They still have the tags on them.”
Nichole, she says, had a date on the Friday night two days before her death.
“She would usually tell me if she was going out or met somebody,” she says. “I didn’t know anything about the date.”
Coats says she won’t stop asking questions until she gets satisfactory answers. “It is a nightmare. I am trying to stay strong. I am hurt. I am heartbroken and I am severely devastated. This was totally unexpected,” she says.
“I want to find out what happened to my daughter,” she adds. “It was too soon. She was too young. She just got a promotion on her job. A raise. She was doing well and then this happens. She was healthy. I am still trying to grasp all this. When she came in the room she brightened up the whole room. Her smile was like a diamond. She was like a gem.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Coats family with funeral costs.