Family of Arizona Millionaire's Dead Girlfriend Rejects Suicide - FOX 10 News |

Family of Arizona Millionaire's Dead Girlfriend Rejects Suicide Theory


The family of Rebecca Zahau, who was found hanging from a balcony at the mansion of pharmaceutical millionaire Jonah Shacknai, said Wednesday that she would not have committed suicide.

Zahau, 32, was found last Wednesday morning -- naked, with her arms and feet bound -- in the Coronado, Calif., home of Shacknai, an Arizona businessman.

Within days, Shacknai's six-year-old son, Max, died from injuries he suffered when falling from the 27-room mansion's grand staircase on July 11.

Investigators have called Zahau's death bizarre and are trying to determine whether it was a suicide or homicide, and whether there is any connection between her death and that of Shacknai's son.

Coronado police said there did not appear to be criminal activity involved in Zahau's death, but the deceased woman's sister has rejected any possibility of suicide.

"Obviously the investigation is not complete yet, but as far as what I know about my sister, my sister did not commit a suicide," Mary Zahau-Loehner told KFMB-TV.

"My sister was not depressed, my sister was not frantic, my sister was planning to call my parents the next day."

Doubts were raised about Zahau taking her own life, as her arms and feet were bound, but Coronado police said there are precedents.

"Some of the psychologists will tell you once that decision is made, there is an urge of self-preservation, and this is one way to preclude oneself from stopping an attempt to end their life," police chief Louis Scanlon said.

According to FOX News Channel, San Diego police are expediting the toxicology reports from the autopsies of Zahau and Max. Toxicology reports normally take up to six weeks to be completed, but authorities could have them finalized by the end of next week.

Shacknai left California on Tuesday to return to Arizona, where his company is based, as police continued to investigate the deaths. Officers are not considering him as a suspect.

Shacknai is the chairman and CEO of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., the manufacturer of the popular cosmetic wrinkle filler Restylane, a competitor of Botox.

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