Sheriff’s Department: no connection between the two deaths at Coronado Mansion.
20 July, 2011
Rebecca Nalepa was found in the courtyard of the mansion on July 13. The Sheriff’s Department has said it cannot yet conclude whether her death was suicide or a “criminal event.”
Separately, the Coronado Police Department is investigating the death of 6-year-old Max Shacknai, the son of the owner. The boy fell down the stairs at the mansion on July 11 and was rushed to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, where he died July 17.
The Coronado police have tentatively labeled the boy’s death accidental. Investigators have said they have found no connection between the two deaths.
Until 2010, Nalepa, who also went by her maiden name, Rebecca Zahau, was employed as a technician at Horizon Eye Specialists & Lasik Center, which has four Valley offices.
Two days before her death, Jonah Shacknai’s 6-year-old son was seriously injured in a fall down a stairway in the main home, known locally as the Spreckels Mansion. Curran said there was no evidence the incident was related to Nalepa’s subsequent death.
Shortly after 10 a.m. Monday, officers and medics responding to an emergency call made by a woman at the estate found the child unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing, Coronado Police Chief Lou Scanlon told reporters.
The boy was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. His condition has not been made public.
The injured youngster’s grandmother told the Arizona Republic he was with Nalepa at the time of the accident.
The man who made the emergency call about Rebecca, Adam Shacknai, told investigators he found Nalepa hanging from a second-floor bedroom balcony over a central courtyard and cut the rope or cord attached to her neck to get her down
A well-known San Diego defense attorney arrived at the mansion Wednesday night and told the media at the crime scene that he represented someone involved in the case.