A man has been arrested in Minnesota for the murder of Los Angeles model Maleesa Mooney, who was found dead, bound and gagged in her refrigerator.
Magnus Daniel Humphrey, 41, was arrested at his home on an unrelated federal warrant and will now be brought back to California to face charges. He is on federal probation for narcotics offenses.
Mooney, 31, was a model and also worked as a real estate agent at the Beverly Hills-based agency Nest Seekers. She had only moved into her new apartment a month before she was found dead on September 12 of last year, her family said.
Her family raised the alarm when they stopped hearing from her and officers entered her home and found blood pooled under the refrigerator with her body inside, bound with electrical wires and clothing, according to the coroner’s report.
His body had blunt force injuries and lacerations and the cause of death was determined to be “homicidal violence.”
Investigators have not revealed a possible motive or said whether the suspect and victim knew each other.
Tributes are pouring in for 31-year-old model Maleesa Mooney
The building features a resort-style pool, sun deck, and central patio, as well as community barbecue grills, tennis courts, and a dog park.
Mooney (right) worked as a real estate agent at the Beverly Hills-based Nest Seekers agency and had only moved into her new home a month before her death, her family said.
The coroner’s report said her blunt force injuries alone were not serious enough to have caused her death, but suggested she “was likely involved in a violent physical altercation prior to her death.”
The report suggests she may have been asphyxiated, although no clear signs of strangulation were observed.
The arrest comes five months after Mooney’s family alerted police to their concerns.
His family raised the alarm when his iPhone text conversations with Mooney changed from blue to green, indicating a change in WiFi and data services.
Bailey Babb, Mooney’s cousin, told KTLA that the family asked for a well-being check when she stopped answering their calls: “When a week went by, we knew something was wrong.
“Their messages were not delivered and we knew something was up because we all have a special relationship with Maleesa.”
Officers entered her Skye apartment in Bunker Hill on September 12, just before 4 pm, and found her body. She was last seen alive on CCTV on September 6.
On September 7, according to the police report, a man was seen on CCTV using his key fob to take the elevator to his apartment, carrying plastic bags.
Jourdin Pauline, her pop star sister who has 1.3 million followers on Instagram, said: “Maleesa has always been someone who is a peacemaker in our family, someone who has always been the backbone and made sure that everyone be together and love each other.”
“So a large part of us no longer exists.”
His family knew something was wrong when his iPhone text conversations with Mooney changed from blue to green, indicating a change in WiFi and data services.
Mooney pictured with a friend
Jourdin Pauline, her pop star sister who has 1.3 million followers on Instagram, said: “Maleesa has always been someone who is a peacemaker in our family, someone who has always been the backbone and made sure that everyone come together and love one another.”
She wrote in a heartfelt tribute on social media: “Never in a million years did I think I would have to make this post and get justice for my only sister, my heart is crushed.”
“I can’t believe you won’t be here with us anymore. You were so loving and so kind to everyone. You made sure that if you ate everyone around you, you opened your arms to people who didn’t deserve you as a friend.” You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to almost everyone’s life you touched!’
She added: “This feels so surreal I keep waking up crying thinking I’m in a bad dream, we will get justice for you my sister, I promise you won’t go in vain!”
Pauline said her sister’s iCloud had an alert that she was still online, leading her to believe her killer was trying to steal and sell her iPhone and MacBook.
The apartment building features a resort-style pool, sun deck, and central patio, as well as community barbecue grills, tennis courts, and a dog park.