San Diego Sheriff: No sign Rebecca Zahau died in the hands of another

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- There are new details released Friday about a case that sent shockwaves through the country.

Rebecca Zahau, a Valley woman, was found dead on the balcony of the Spreckles Mansion in San Diego. At the time of her death, Zahau was staying at the mansion with her boyfriend, Jonah Shacknai, a pharmaceutical billionaire. His six-year-old son had been critically injured in a fall while she was watching him, just days before her death. The boy did not survive.

Originally, Zahau's death was ruled a suicide, but her family said it was murder, and following a civil suit, the San Diego County Sheriff's office agreed to examine some new evidence, results of which were revealed during a news conference on Friday.

Despite the family believing their daughter was murdered inside the San Diego home, deputies have confirmed that the cause of death was suicide.

"After conducting this review, the case team found no evidence that would lead us to believe that Rebecca Zahau died at the hands of another," said San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.

In what investigators are calling a "thorough review", Zahau's death remains the same as it was eight years ago. Sheriff Gore said after the civil suit, he ordered a review of the case.

"It should be known that no one on the review team was part of the original investigation, and no prior connections to the case," said Gore.

Zahau was found naked on the balcony, with her hands and feet bound together. Detectives did share the finding with the Zahau's family, and said the family is "dealing with tragedy like any family would. It was their hope to share information with them and provide answers."

During Friday's panel of evidence experts, videos and pictures of the scene were shown, portraying how they concluded that the case was a suicide. Investigators believe Zahau felt tremendous guilt over the fall of Shaknai's six-year-old son.

San Diego County Sheriff's Office