Rebecca Zahau lawsuit: Family sues Dina Shacknai over mysterious death

PHOENIX - The family of a girlfriend, who died in a wealthy Scottsdale businessman’s mansion, has filed a $10 million civil lawsuit in connection to the 2011 death of Rebecca Zahau.

Investigators say on July 13, 2011 the 32-year-old woman was found naked hanging from the second story balcony of a mansion on Coronado Island.

The mansion belonged to former CEO of Medicis Jonah Shacknai.

Shacknai and Zahau were vacationing with Shacknai’s 6-year-old son Max.

Two days before Zahau’s death, Max fell down a flight of stairs while she was babysitting him. Max later died at a hospital.

RELATED: Max Shacknai's mom pleads with City Council to re-open son's death investigation

Investigators ruled that Zahau’s death was a suicide. Some detectives said Zahau was distraught over the child’s death.

However Zahau’s family didn’t believe it.

RELATED: Family alleges mansion hanging was murder, not suicide

This week, the family filed a $10 million dollar civil suit against: Jonah’s ex-wife Dina Shacknai, her sister Nina Romano and Jonah’s brother, Adam Shacknai.

Jonah was not named in the suit.

The lawsuit claims that the trio may not have been directly involved in her death – but each had threatened her.

Autopsy report done during police investigation said Zahau was partially gagged with a t-shirt. There was tape residue and blood on her legs and hemorrhages were found under her scalp.

No criminal charges have been filed against defendants.

Dina Shacknai’s lawyer filed a response to the Zahau’s lawsuit saying if the Zahau’s think someone else strangled Zahau to death they can’t accuse Dina of the murder.

Police say the case is closed.

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