Maleesa Mooney (L) and
Maleesa Mooney, 31, and Nichole Coats, 32, lived in luxury apartment buildings in downtown Los Angeles, less than a mile apart. Both women worked part-time as models. And the last time that their respective families heard from them was on September 7. Three days later, Coats, who went by Nikki, was found dead in her apartment by her family, who’d become concerned about her lack of response to phone calls or texts.
On September 12, Mooney was found dead in her apartment by police who were conducting a welfare check after her family became worried. “When a week went by, we just knew something was off,” Mooney’s cousin told KTLA. “Her messages weren’t delivering and we knew something was up because we all have a special relationship with Maleesa.” Mooney’s death has been labelled a homicide, while medical examiners are still investigating the manner of Coats’ death. The eerie similarities between their cases has fueled speculation and fear of a possible serial killer. But in a statement Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police Department said, so far, they were yet to uncover any evidence linking the two women’s deaths. “Detectives have been working closely with members of the Los Angeles County, Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, as to the cause of death of both women,” a spokesperson for the LAPDt told VICE News in a statement. “Since both cases remain active investigations, details about either case will not be released;however, based on the investigations thus far, there is no evidence to suggest that the deaths of Ms. Coats and Ms. Mooney are related to one another.”Coats’ family told KTLA that the last time they heard from Nikki, she told them that she was going on a date on September 8. Her father, Guy Coats, told ABC News that he accessed her apartment two days later using a fob, and found her unresponsive, “kind of laying there, her arm is stretched out.” Nothing seemed strange in her apartment, he said. He initially believed that Nikki “passed in her sleep,” but became suspicious upon learning of Mooney’s murder and decided to alert the media to his daughter’s death. “If there is a predator out there--I said it may not have anything to do with my baby--but whatever it is then we need to at least put this out,” he told ABC News. Mooney’s sister, Jourdin Pauline, who is a trap-pop star originally from Guayana, has been using her celebrity status to keep attention on the cases. “I keep waking up crying thinking I’m in a bad dream we will get justice for you my sister,” she wrote on Instagram. “This hurts so bad”