crimesider

Naked, bound woman found hanging at historic California mansion

Questions linger about woman's death at Coronado mansion
Rebecca Nalepa
CBS/KFMB

(CBS/KFMB) CORONADO, Calif. - Police say a nude woman was found hanging from a balcony, her hands and feet bound, at a mansion in Coronado, Calif. Wednesday.

According to CBS affiliate KFMB, investigators identified her as 32-year-old Rebecca Nalepa, also known as Rebecca Zahau.

The victim was the girlfriend of multi-millionaire Jonah Shacknai, who police say owns the home. They had been dating about two years.

Jonah's brother Adam Shacknai discovered the Nalepa's body and called 911 early Wednesday and reported that a woman, who was staying at the home, was in distress, according to deputies. After Adam Shacknai found Nalepa's body hanging by a rope from a balcony, he cut her down. Nalepa's hands were tied behind her back and her feet were also bound together.

An autopsy is being completed Thursday by the San Diego Medical Examiner's office.

Once police officers and paramedics arrived Wednesday morning, paramedics performed life-saving measures on the woman. But despite those efforts, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators are calling the death suspicious but have not ruled out the possibility of suicide.

"It appears to be some type of a violent death, and I'm not going to compromise the integrity of the investigation by giving anything more than that at this time," San Diego County Sheriff's Dept. Capt. Tim Curran said.

The Spreckels Mansion, once owned by San Diego magnate John D. Spreckels, was built in 1908. It sits on 12,751 square feet of property with a 115-foot unobstructed view of the beach. Spreckels also owned the nearby Hotel del Coronado, in addition to many other properties and businesses.

The mansion is now owned by Shacknai, who Forbes Magazine identifies as the CEO of a Healthcare/Biotech firm in Scottsdale, Arizona called Medicis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Shacknai and his family live in Arizona and stay at their Coronado mansion during the summer months. According to records, Shacknai purchased the home in 2007 for $12.7 million.

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