Two models were found dead in their downtown Los Angeles apartments just three miles apart and in the space of one week.
The Los Angeles Police Department said it has begun investigations into the deaths of Maleesa Mooney, 31 and Nichole “Nikki” Coats, 32, who were found dead on 12 and 15 September respectively in their apartments.
It is unclear if there is a connection between the two deaths.
Mooney was found dead in her luxury apartment in Bunker Hill on 12 September after her family called the police when she suddenly stopped responding to text messages and calls.
Her sister Jourdin Pauline, a Guyanese pop star, said: “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.”
Writing a tribute to her, she said it felt surreal and she “keeps waking up crying thinking I’m in a bad dream” and demanded justice for her.
The Los Angeles police said they are investigating her death as a homicide, but did not reveal if she had injuries or the possible cause of death.
Authorities said Coats’ case is open, while the cause of death is being determined. Her family is demanding a murder investigation.
Coats, who lived in an upmarket apartment in the same area, was found dead by her family members on 10 September after their attempts to contact her went unanswered.
The family members said they were last told by her that she was going out on a date on Friday, two days before she was found dead.
Coats’ aunt, May Stevens, said she could not recognise her when she saw her body.
“I believe it was murder, I really do. One of her legs was up in the air in a kicking position. That’s not somebody who just laid in their bed and died,” she said.
Her mother Sharon described the murder scene at her daughter’s apartment to local media site KTLA, saying it was bloody and gruesome.
LAPD officer Drake Madison said that he has “no idea” about the circumstances of Coats’ death. He added that “we had no information of any type of homicide or anything. We couldn’t find anything on that. … It could be anything.”
A GoFundMe has been set up by Coats’ family to cover her funeral cost and raised more than $14,000 as of Monday.