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Report: Death of millionaire's girlfriend in San Diego mansion was suicide

Exec, wife had stormy past before son died, say police
Jonah Shacknai and Rebecca Zahau
CBS/KFMB

(CBS) - According to reports, the death of Rebecca Zahau, the woman found hanging naked and bound from an outdoor balcony at her boyfriend's mansion in San Diego, is believed to be a suicide.

Pictures: Girlfriend, son die days apart at tycoon's Calif. mansion

At the start of the investigation her death appeared to be a homicide, but detectives never ruled out the possibility of a suicide.

Sources, who have knowledge of the investigation told local station KNSD that detectives are reasonably confident that Zahau's death was a suicide.

The sources believe that Zahu's alleged suicide was sparked when Max Shacknai, the 6-year-old son of Zahau's millionaire boyfriend Jonah Shacknai, suffered a severe brain injury after falling from the grand staircase at the mansion on July 11. Max Shacknai died two days after the accident, reports the station.

Zahau felt extremely guilty about the incident, sources say, because it happened when she was watching the boy. They also added that it appears she tied her hands and legs to make sure she didn't save herself.

Detectives said Shacknai's brother, Adam Shacknai, was the only other person home at the time of Zahau's death. Adam said he cut down Zahau's body then called 911.

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