Two Black models found dead in Los Angeles neighborhood days apart

Family and friends of Nichole Coats and Maleesa Mooney are devastated – and worried that a serial killer might be in search of their next victim.

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Two families are demanding justice and answers as they mourn the deaths of two Black models who seemingly died under similar circumstances in Los Angeles.

Family members found the body of Nichole Coats, 32, inside her apartment on Sept. 10, according to KTLA 5 News.

KTLA reported that Los Angeles police officers found aspiring model and real estate agent Maleesa Mooney, 31, dead inside her apartment around 4 p.m. on Sept. 12 after conducting a welfare check. 

Los Angeles models found dead -- Nichole Coats, Maleesa Mooney
(Left to right) Nichole Coats and Maleesa Mooney were both found dead in their respective apartment units in downtown Los Angeles. (Photo Credit: Screenshot/ 5 News)

While they did not release details about possible injuries, police confirmed that a murder investigation is underway for Mooney. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office is investigating her cause of death.

Coats’ case is deemed a “suspicious” death.

Mooney’s family grew worried when a week passed without her responding to their calls or texts. Jourdin Pauline described her sister as loving and kind – and she has no idea who could do this.

“Maleesa has always been someone who is a peacemaker in our family, someone that’s always been the backbone, and making sure everyone’s getting together, loving on each other,” Pauline said, KTLA reported. “So this is a really big piece of us that’s gone now.”

The last time anyone heard from Coats was on Sept. 8, when she told friends she was going on a date. She answered no calls or texts that weekend, prompting her father and aunt to visit her apartment complex.

Sharon Coats, Nikki’s mother, said the scene was gruesome, noting that family members found her daughter’s bed bloodied.

May Stevens said she couldn’t even recognize her niece and believes someone murdered her, noting that one of her legs was in a kicking position.

“This is senseless, and I want some answers because my daughter is gone,” said Sharon. “And it’s not fair. I want everybody to find out who did this to her. She shouldn’t be gone.”

A spokesperson for LAPD told theGrio there is no additional information regarding the deaths at this time.

Family and friends of both women are devastated – and worried that a serial killer might be in search of their next victim.

“I feel that there’s a predator loose,” Stevens added, KTLA reported.

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