Mansion Death Ruled a Suicide
A beautiful woman found naked and hanging from a balcony at a $12 million mansion committed suicide.
That's the surprising conclusion of police after an intense two-month investigation into the bizarre tragedy outside San Diego, California.
The mansion is owned by Jonah Shacknai, founder of a successful anti-aging skin products company.
In July, his 6-year-old son Max fell down a flight of stairs at the mansion while playing and later died of his injuries.
"Science is our best witness in this case. Science is not biased and it does not lie," said Sheriff William D. Gore.
Two days after the accident, Shacknai's girlfriend of two years, Rebecca Zahau, was found hanging from a balcony at the rear of the house.
She was naked, her feet were bound, and her hands were tied behind her back.
"Was Max's death a homicide? The answer is no, it was a tragic accident. Was Rebecca's death a homicide? Again, the answer is no," said Sheriff Gore.
Knowing their findings were going to be controversial, the San Diego Sheriff's Department came prepared with a detailed PowerPoint presentation.
Detectives revealed Zahau left a final note on a door in black paint.
But the dead woman's family says the police investigation is flawed.
Relatives of Zahau say they just do not believe she committed suicide. Her sister says the two spoke by phone hours before she was found dead and says she did not appear depressed and was making plans for the following day.
And they say it would have been impossible for Zahau to have bound her wrists and ankles and still hanged herself.
"There's more questions than answers, in that kind of a circumstance, a case should not be closed. It's a rush to judgment," said Anne Bremner, the family's attorney.
But investigators say they are certain there was no foul play.