Woman bound in 'bizarre' San Diego death with Scottsdale tie

CORONADO, Calif. - A woman found dead in a San Diego-area home owned by a Scottsdale businessman had a rope around her neck, was naked and was hanging from a balcony when she was found Wednesday.

During a news conference earlier today, San Diego County Sheriff's Capt. Tim Curran said investigators have not determined if 32-year-old Rebecca Nalepa's death was a homicide and have not ruled out suicide. He declined to comment on the evidence and called it a "very bizarre" death.

Nalepa was the girlfriend of homeowner Jonah Shacknai, chairman and chief executive of Scottsdale-based Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp.

The Coronado Police Department responded to the home on popular Coronado Island around 7am Wednesday. The home is on the highly sought-after Ocean Boulevard.

Curran said Shacknai's brother, Adam, called 911  to report that the woman appeared to be dead. The brother was staying in a guesthouse at the mansion. Jonah Shacknai was not at home.

When officers arrived they reportedly found the woman and began life-saving measures. She was pronounced dead shortly after Coronado Fire Department paramedics arrived on the scene.

Authorities said Thursday that in addition to the rope around her neck, the victim's hands and feet were bound.

Reports of another incident at the mansion this week have also been confirmed by police. Earlier this week, Shacknai's son was hospitalized after he apparently fell from the stair and stopped breathing. He is now in stable condition.

At this point, authorities say the incidents are unrelated.

According to the San Diego Tribune , the mansion was originally owned by John D. Spreckels, who owned Hotel del Coronado.

Print this article Back to Top