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‘Whoever Did It Stole Her Belongings’: Neighbors of Model Found Dead In Los Angeles Apartment Raised Alarm About Suspicious Activity Leading Up to the Discovery of Her Body

Residents in the luxury apartment building where the body of a 31-year-old aspiring model was found dead reported a rash of suspicious activity to police for weeks before her alleged murder, reports show.

Maleesa Mooney, also a real estate agent, was found by Los Angeles Police officers around 4 p.m. on Sept. 12 while they were performing a wellness check in her apartment on the 200 block of South Figueroa Street. 

Model and real estate agent Maleesa Mooney was found dead on Sept. 12, 2023. (Photo: Instagram/Jourdin Pauline)

ABC 7 reports that Mooney had moved into the apartment that is now the scene of her homicide, per detectives, a month ago.

According to ABC 7, Mooney’s neighbors had raised the alarm about a string of incidents in and around the building.

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“I bring pepper spray with me, I know it’s probably not legal, but I don’t feel safe walking around here,” Grace Sheng, a neighbor, told NBC Los Angeles.

While details about residents’ concerns are thin and the cause of Mooney’s death is still unknown, reports indicate valuables from Mooney’s apartment were taken.

The woman’s relatives grew concerned about her well-being after they noticed that their iPhone messages to her phone went from blue to green, and she was not responding. Messages sent from iPhone to iPhone are usually blue unless one of the recipients signs out of their Apple iCloud account linked to the device. For loved ones, the green indication could mean that someone attempted to reset Mooney’s device.

“Whoever did it stole her belongings because they’re trying to sell her iPhone and her MacBook,” Mooney’s sister, pop singer Jourdin Pauline, said. “Her iCloud had an alert like she was on.”

Another model, Nichole “Nikki” Coats, 32, was discovered two days before in her apartment on Eighth Street and Grand Avenue. She told friends that she was going on a date on Sept. 8 in the last communication with loved ones before she was found with her leg up on a bloody bed in her apartment.

“I went in, and I turned the corner, I went over — she’s covered up — I went over and touched her and said ‘Nicole?’ ” her father, Guy Edward Coats Jr., recalled to KCAL News. “I touched her arm, and she was just like stone.”

So far, authorities are not investigating Coats’ death as a homicide, but her family suspects that she could be a victim of a serial killer; both women who were killed in Downtown Los Angeles had noticeable similarities.

“That scared us all because now we feel that it’s related,” said Linda St. Clair, Coats’ aunt. “She wasn’t far from where Nicole lived, and they were in the same age bracket, and she was a model.”

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