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

“I have thousands and thousands of scenarios in my head of what could have happened because we don’t know,” Mooney's sister, Jourdin Pauline, said of her sister's death. 

By Elisabeth Ford
A selfie of Maleesa Mooney

Maleesa Mooney, a model who was found dead in her Los Angeles apartment last month, was pregnant at the time of her murder, her sister says. 

Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department found Mooney, 31, dead inside her apartment in downtown L.A. on September 12 while conducting a welfare check after she stopped responding to phone messages from family members.

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

What did model Maleesa Mooney die of? 

Her cause of death has since been determined to be “homicidal violence,” according to the County of Los Angeles Medical Examiner, who also listed “other significant conditions” as a cause in the report.

Mooney’s sister, Jourdin Pauline, told Los Angeles station KTLA and People that her sister was two months pregnant when she was killed.

“She was super excited and I know she really wanted a kid, and it's something that she has always talked about,” Pauline told People, adding that Mooney’s boyfriend is “heartbroken.”

Pauline spoke with KTLA about the frustration she and her family say they've felt while waiting for answers in the case.

A selfie of Maleesa Mooney

“It’s honestly so stressful,” Pauline said. “I have thousands and thousands of scenarios in my head of what could have happened because we don’t know.”

“This person is still out there and the police are not telling us anything,” she added of Mooney's killer. “What is the hold up? What did the guys see? Can you share it with us? Suspects? Surveillance video that you do have? Show us something, tell us something so we can look out for it.”

Mooney’s family grew concerned days prior to the discovery of her body when the model didn't answer their texts and calls. Her mother got ahold of her phone records and called the last number listed, hoping they had information on her daughter.

RELATED: Serial Domestic Abuser Convicted in 2019 Slaying of His Girlfriend, a Navajo Nursing Assistant

“So my mom calls the last number because she's like, 'Okay, we can't get in contact with her, so maybe this person knows.' And the person on the phone was like, ‘Oh no, someone was just trying to sell me this iPhone for $100,'” Pauline told People. “Whoever had her phone was trying to sell her phone.”

That prompted the family to visit Mooney’s apartment building, where they waited for police to gain access into her unit. Upon entering, police found the apartment flooded with water, Pauline said. Further investigation found that the woman’s phone, laptop, dirty laundry and favorite purse were gone, People reported.

“It was honestly so chilling,” Pauline told People of going into her sister's apartment after investigators had finished collecting evidence. “I've never experienced anything like that before. Different parts of the carpet were ripped up and the refrigerator was gone. Whatever happened that night was very scary and traumatic. I know she was so scared. I just hate to think about it.”

Another Model Found Dead in her L.A. Apartment Days Before 

Mooney's body was found two days after the body of Nichole “Nikki” Coats, who was 32 and also a model, was discovered in her own downtown L.A. apartment. The medical examiner lists Coats' cause of death as "deferred" as of Monday afternoon.

RELATED: Woman Dumped Along Interstate in Florida Identified as "Happy Face Killer" Victim, 29 Years Later

On September 19, the LAPD said that the Coats discovery was "being handled as a death investigation. It is an ongoing investigation and no further information is available."

Both cases are being handled by the LAPD's Central Bureau Homicide, the department stated at the time.

"Since both cases remain active investigations, details about either case will not be released; however, based on the investigations thus far, there is no evidence to suggest that the deaths of Ms. Coats and Ms. Mooney are related to one another," the department stated in September.

The LAPD told Oxygen on Monday that there are no further updates on the investigations into the women's deaths.

A headshot of Nichole Coats

GoFundMe pages have been created for the moms of both Mooney and Coats.

“She is known as an amazing daughter, friend and soul,” the fundraiser for Coats’ family reads. “Her untimely passing has left us shocked. There’s no way we could have imagined or prepared for this difficult time.

The LAPD urges anyone with information on the two cases to call Detectives Pierce or Marcinek at its Central Bureau Homicide division at (213) 996-4150. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should go to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.

Those with tips can also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to offer information.

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