SAN DIEGO (CBS) — Investigators on Friday were searching for clues surrounding the mysterious death of a woman at a beachfront mansion in one of Southern California’s most prestigious neighborhoods.

Rebecca Nalepa, 32, was found dead at the historic Spreckels mansion in Coronado, hanging from a balcony in the nude with her hands tied behind her back and her feet bound.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports officials are still figuring out how to proceed with the investigation.

“Because of the unique and bizarre circumstances of this incident, it has yet to be determined if this will become a criminal matter or remain as a death investigation,” said San Diego County sheriff’s Capt. Tim Curran.

Nalepa was the girlfriend of homeowner Jonah Shacknai, chairman and chief executive of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp.

Curran said the body was discovered by Shacknai’s brother, Adam, who called 911 Wednesday morning to report that the woman appeared to be dead.

The brother was staying in a guesthouse at the Coronado mansion, but Shacknai was not home at the time the body was discovered.

On Monday, Jonah Shacknai’s 6-year-old son was hospitalized following an apparent accident.

Comments (305)
  1. Marcia Clark says:

    If I found my brother’s girlfriend hanging nude, then cut her down to “see if she was alive”, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t leave her face down on the ground.

    Cutting her down, yet leaving her face down on the ground makes absolutely no sense. His only defense would have to be that he was too scared to approach the body. That’s plausible in the case of a motor vehicle collision, but less likely when you know the victim quite well.

    I’d be grilling the heck out of the brother…..

    How did you cut her down? Did you touch her body/check pulse? Why did you leave her face down? Was there a party or loud sounds at the mansion on Tuesday night? Did you interact with Ms. Zahau on Tuesday night? Were there visitors to the mansion on Tuesday night?

  2. icecream says:

    Get ready for the best justice money can buy !

  3. Brian says:

    “I suspect foul play”
    – or possibly questionable / untested meds from the “Pharmaceutical” company

  4. SurelyFired says:


  5. jennifer says:

    That rich Pharm man got away with murdering this woman. They are investigating it, and the FEDS are involved now. Let’s see if they are paid off

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