A decomposed body found in a shallow grave in Northern California was confirmed to be that of a missing model after her boyfriend, a suspect in her death, killed himself following a police chase last week, authorities said Wednesday.
An autopsy at the Placer County Morgue in Auburn, California, positively identified the remains as Adea Shabani, 25, the missing model from Los Angeles. Tattoos helped identify the remains, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada City, California, said.
While the coroner determined Shabani suffered blunt force trauma to the head, it was not listed as the cause of death until further toxicology and tissue analysis could be conducted. She didn’t suffer any other major trauma to the rest of her body, the office said.
The discovery of remains at a site in Nevada County came amid an LAPD investigation into the disappearance of Shabani, last seen Feb. 23 near the 1700 block of Wilcox Avenue, between Hollywood Boulevard and Franklin Avenue.
The 25-year-old had been in Los Angeles for about two years, pursuing an acting career. She was originally from Macedonia.
The investigation into Shabani’s disappearance took a turn last week with a police pursuit that ended in a suicide.
A North Hollywood man, identified as Christopher Spotz, 33, shot himself during a police chase that ended in the Corona area.
Police said during a news conference on Tuesday that some time after Shabani disappeared, Spotz released a statement through an attorney saying that he and Shabani had been traveling north, they got into an argument and he let her out of the vehicle in Santa Clarita.
Police said they couldn’t verify Spotz’s account, said Capt. Bill Hayes, who heads the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, and concluded it was not true.
Shabani and Spotz had both studied at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theater in Hollywood.
"We are devastated," said John Jack Rodgers, the Academy’s executive director, recalling that she was "growing immensely" in her craft. "She held nothing back."