Two models have been found dead in downtown Los Angeles, yet police say the two incidents are not likely to be related.
Nichole Coats, 32, was found dead in her apartment by her father on 10 September on Eighth Street and Grand Avenue.
Another model, Maleesa Mooney, 31, was found dead during a welfare check inside her apartment two days later in the 200 Block of South Figueroa Street. Ms Mooney’s death is being investigated as a homicide due to the circumstances surrounding her death.
Despite the Los Angeles Police Department saying there is no evidence linking the two deaths, it has not suppressed the family’s suspicions that the two may be linked.
“I just feel in my heart that there is some foul play somewhere, somebody’s not saying something,” Ms Coats’ aunt May Stevens told CBS.
“That scared us all [learning about the Ms Mooney’s death] because now we feel that it’s related because she wasn’t far from where Nichole lived and they were in the same age bracket and she was a model,” Ms Coats’ other aunt Linda St Clair also added.
“I believe it was murder, I really do," Ms Stevens also told KTLA. "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.”
Guy Edward Coats Jr, the father of Ms Coats, found her after friends told him him they could not get ahold of the model, so he went to her apartment with a spare key.
“She was covered up and I went over and I said ‘Nicole?’ and I touched her arm and she was just like stone,” he said.
Officer Drake Madison of the LAPD has remained firm in their statements that they have yet to determine the cause of death for Ms Coats.
"We had no knowledge of any kind of homicide or other crime. On that, we couldn’t locate anything. Anything may be the case," he said.
Lt Ricardo Lopez of the coroner’s office stated that there is an "active investigation". He said, “The cause of death is deferred so we don’t have any cause of death to give you at this time. That’s subject to change, but at this time, no.”
While the investigations are ongoing, the two families are mourning the loss of the models, who had aspirations to take their careers to the next level.
“I miss her so much, and she was my only one and I’m not gonna ever be able to tell her that I love her or touch her again,” Ms Coats’ mother, Sharon Coats, said to NBC. “I want to know what happened. Thats it… I just want to know what happened to her.”
The Coats family have set up a GoFundMe page to raise funeral funds for the passing of the young model. On the page, it reads that “Nikki’s vibrant personality was one that touched and affected everyone she crossed paths with. She is known as an amazing daughter, friend and soul.”
Journdin Pauline, a Guyanese pop star and the sister of Ms Mooney took to her Instagram page, amassing over 1 million followers, to pay a series of tributes to her 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,” said Ms Pauline in one post.
The LAPD said in a press release that the cause of Ms Mooney’s death also remains unknown as they are waiting for postmortem results, yet the death is currently being treated as a homicide.