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Autopsy report reveals murdered LA model was bound and gagged inside her refrigerator

Disturbing details about model's death in downtown Los Angeles come to light
Disturbing details about model's death in downtown Los Angeles come to light 01:32

Authorities have revealed jarring new details surrounding the death of Los Angeles model Maleesa Mooney, who was found dead inside of the refrigerator in her apartment in September. 

Maleesa Mooney. Jourdin Pauline

Mooney, 31, was discovered by Los Angeles Police Department investigators at around 4 p.m. on September 12 after family members had not heard from her in several days. 

While her cause of death was not immediately released, detectives did disclose that they were looking into the death as a homicide. 

The autopsy report revealed that Mooney was severely beaten, bound and gagged and stuffed inside of her refrigerator. Her arms and legs were tied to each other behind her back "with miscellaneous electronic cords and clothing items," the report released by the Los Angeles Department of the Medical Examiner on Friday disclosed.

There were more clothing items wrapped around her face and neck and a gag made of clothing was stuffed inside of her mouth. 

Additional details on the report noted that she has suffered blunt force trauma in the form of abrasions, lacerations and contusions around her head and neck, body, arms and legs. 

There was blood on the floor outside of the refrigerator, according to the autopsy report.

The blunt force trauma injuries that Mooney suffered are "not considered acutely life threatening on their own," the report noted. "However, based on the circumstances of how Ms. Mooney was found, these injuries suggest she was likely involved in violent physical altercation prior to her death."

Toxicology testing found evidence of recent cocaine use as well, but the report says it is uncertain the role that alcohol or drugs may have played in her death. 

She was last seen alive on surveillance video from her apartment complex, located in the 200 block of S. Figueroa Street, on September 6. 

Mooney's body was found two days after a different Los Angeles-based model, 32-year-old Nichole Coats, was found dead inside of her own downtown apartment, which was located just over two miles away. Investigators determined that the deaths were not related, however, releasing Coats' autopsy report earlier this week, attributing her death to "cocaine and ethanol toxicity."

There is still no information on an assailant in the case. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact detectives at (213) 996-4150.

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