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Crime News

Los Angeles Model's Cause of Death Revealed After Family Expressed Belief She'd Been Murdered

The cause of death for Nichole “Nikki” Coats was ruled an accident as a result of "cocaine and ethanol toxicity," according to the County of Los Angeles Medical Examiner. 

By Gina Salamone
A headshot of Nichole Coats

The cause of death has been announced for a Los Angeles model whose death last month sparked outcry from family members who believed she was murdered. 

The body of Nichole “Nikki” Coats, 32, was discovered on September 10 in her downtown L.A. apartment after her family grew concerned when they couldn't reach her.

What is the cause of death for Los Angeles model Nichole "Nikki" Coats?

Coats' cause of death was ruled an accident this week as a result of "cocaine and ethanol toxicity," an overdose of the drug and alcohol, according to the County of Los Angeles Medical Examiner

Several of Coats' relatives had suspected foul play in her death. Her father and aunt, May Stevens, went to her apartment on September 10 after she didn't respond to calls and texts that weekend. That's when they found her body, according to KTLA

RELATED: Two Models Have Been Found Dead in Their Downtown Los Angeles Apartments in the Same Week

“I couldn’t recognize her,” Stevens told the station last month. “I believe it was murder, I really do. One of her legs was up in the air in a kicking position. That’s not somebody who just laid in their bed and died.”

Coats' death made national headlines since her body was discovered just two days before that of another model found dead in her downtown L.A. apartment, whose cause of death has since been ruled a homicide.

A selfie of Maleesa Mooney

On September 12, at around 3:54 p.m., the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call for a welfare check on South Figueroa St., where they found the body of Maleesa Mooney.

"The investigation revealed that Maleesa Mooney had been murdered inside of her apartment," the LAPD stated on September 15. 

The medical examiner determined that that Mooney, 31, died of “homicidal violence,” also listing “other significant conditions” as a factor in the report. There have been no updates given in Mooney's alleged murder case.

Mooney’s sister has since told KTLA and People that her sister was two months pregnant at the time of her death.

“She was super excited and I know she really wanted a kid, and it's something that she has always talked about,” Jourdin Pauline told People of her late sister.

RELATED: Los Angeles Model Maleesa Mooney Was Pregnant When She was Violently Murdered, Sister Says

Pauline told KTLA earlier this month that it was "stressful" not getting immediate answers about her sister's murder. “I have thousands and thousands of scenarios in my head of what could have happened because we don’t know," she told the station. “This person is still out there and the police are not telling us anything. What is the hold up? What did the guys see? Can you share it with us?"

Comparisons were drawn between the cases of Mooney and Coats since both women were models whose bodies were found in their downtown L.A. apartments, just two days apart. On September 19, the LAPD put out a statement, saying, "There is no evidence to suggest that the deaths of Ms. Coats and Ms. Mooney are related to one another."

In addition to Coats' aunt, other family members had also feared she was murdered before her death was ruled an accidental overdose.

“This is senseless and I want some answers because my daughter is gone,” her mom, Sharon Coats, told KTLA in September. “And it’s not fair. I want everybody to find out who did this to her. She shouldn’t be gone.”

Coats' family members have said that she told friends she was going on a date on September 8, and that that was the last time that her loved ones had heard from her.

“I don’t know who she went out with or what transpired there,” Sharon told KTLA. “I have no idea but I’m going to find out. So if you’re out there, you’re going to get caught. You’re messing with the wrong person.”