$10 Million Demand in SoCal Death

     SAN DIEGO (CN) – The mother of Rebecca Zahau, who was found hanging nude from a balcony in a California mansion, filed a $10 million lawsuit against the people she believes are behind her daughter’s death.
     Zahau, 32, was found dead at the waterfront Spreckels Mansion in Coronado in July 2011, by Adam Shacknai.
     Adam’s brother Jonah Shacknai was Zahau’s boyfriend of two years, and owned the 27-room property.
     Jonah Shacknai’s 6-year old son Max died after falling from a staircase banister two days before Zahau’s body was found.
     Jonah’s ex-wife, defendant Dina Shacknai, is Max’s mother.
     Zahau’s family went to court in May to demand that authorities turn over dozens of items seized in the investigations of Zahau’s and Max’s deaths. They also requested DNA and forensic evidence, photos, audio files, phone records, video, transcripts of witness interviews, and autopsy reports.
     Jonah Shacknai is an Arizona pharmaceuticals magnate. Zahau was a Myanmar native and an ophthalmic technician.
     The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department ruled that Zahau committed suicide, and that Max’s fall was an accident.
     But in their new federal complaint, Zahau’s mother Pari Zahau and Zahau’s sister Mary Zahau-Loehner claim that Adam Shacknai, Dina Shacknai, and her twin sister Nina Romano “participated in some manner the planning, implementation, execution and subsequent concealment” of Zahau’s murder.
     Jonah Shacknai is not a party to the lawsuit.
     Adam Shacknai was staying at a guesthouse at the mansion when Zahau was found, Dina Shacknai was staying in a nearby vacation home, and Romano was in town to visit her sister, according to reports from the San Diego Union Tribune and TV.
     “On or about July 13, 2011, defendants intentionally, willfully, wantonly and maliciously threatened to cause immediate physical harm to Rebecca by threatening to stalk, attack choke, gag, bound, and hang her at the premises,” the 9-page complaint states.
     The complaint cites no evidence to back up these claims.
     San Diego County investigated Zahau’s death, and then announced that Zahau had killed herself.
     This “despite her body having been found nude, hands bound behind her back, legs bound, with a noose over her hair and neck, with a blue Massimo T-shirt tied three times around the noose, with the tail stuffed in her mouth as a gag, and unexplained clear plastic tape residue on her leg,” the family said in their complaint in May.
     “Not only were there signs of a struggle, such as an overturned chair in the room from which the rope was suspended, paint splattered on Rebecca’s chest and the noose, wounds on her hand and blood on her body, and a painted taunt on the door of the bedroom saying, ‘She Saved Him Can You Save Her’ – there was a lack of evidence of suicide such as a suicide note,” according to the May lawsuit.
     Zahau’s father Robert died on July 9, according to the complaint.
     The Zahaus seek a jury trial and $10 million in damages for assault, battery, negligence and wrongful death.
     They are represented by Keith Greer.

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