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Arrest made in the brutal killing of an LA model found inside her refrigerator

Minnesota man arrested for death of LA model
Minnesota man arrested for death of LA model 01:50

A Minnesota man accused of killing a 31-year-old model at her Downtown Los Angeles apartment pleaded not guilty to murder and torture charges in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, following his arrest on Wednesday.

Authorities found Maleesa Mooney bound and gagged inside her refrigerator, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Police identified the suspect as 41-year-old Magnus Daniel Humphrey who was arrested at his home in Minnesota on an unrelated federal warrant on Nov. 3, 2023. He is on federal probation for narcotics charges. The connection between Mooney and Humphrey has not been released.

"Ms. Mooney opened her home to this individual with trust, but was repaid with torture and murder," District Attorney George Gascón said. "The heinous disregard for Ms. Mooney's life will not go unpunished."

Photo: Magnus Daniel Humphrey Hennepin County Sheriff

At Thursday's arraignment, Humphrey was ordered to remain jailed without bail pending his next court appearance March 7.

Officers discovered Mooney's body inside her home after performing multiple welfare checks at her apartment. After seeing blood on the floor outside of the refrigerator, police found Mooney stuffed inside her refrigerator with her clothing wrapped around her face and neck. She was also gagged with her own clothes. 

She had her arms and legs tied behind her back "with miscellaneous electronic cords and clothing items," the LA Department of Medical Examiner stated.

The autopsy report stated she was severely beaten with abrasions, lacerations and contusions throughout her entire body. The autopsy report said her blunt force trauma injuries were not considered life-threatening; "however, based on the circumstances of how Ms. Mooney was found, these injuries suggest she was likely involved in a violent physical altercation prior to her death," the Medical Examiner stated. 

Mooney was last seen alive on Sept. 6. 

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