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Missing Macedonian model Adea Shabani’s body found in shallow grave, California police believe

Shabani’s boyfriend Christopher Spotz committed suicide after a police chase last week

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, 9:39am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, 9:39am

Los Angeles police believe they have found the remains of a missing model and aspiring actress in a shallow grave 80km north of Sacramento, authorities said Tuesday.

LAPD detectives investigating the February disappearance of 25-year-old Adea Shabani were led to the banks of Dry Creek in the Spenceville Wildlife Area in Nevada County, where they discovered the remains.

Captain William Hayes with the LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division said at a Downtown Los Angeles news conference Tuesday that investigators believe the body belongs to Shabani but cannot say conclusively because of the condition of the remains.

He said investigators believe foul play might have occurred but are waiting for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Anthropologists from California State, Chico were also on site to help investigate the remains. The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Hayes said investigators were treating the case as a homicide and suspect that 33-year-old Christopher Spotz, who had an “intimate relationship” with Shabani, was somehow involved in her disappearance.

Spotz shot and killed himself with a handgun Thursday, police say, after leading officers on a chase from Hesperia to Corona in a stolen Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.

KNBC-TV, citing anonymous law enforcement sources, reported that the dead man was Shabani’s boyfriend.

LAPD spokeswoman Rosario Herrera said Shabani had last been seen in the Tacoma.

Shabani, who friends said had come to Los Angeles less than two years ago to pursue a career in modelling, was last seen near her home in Hollywood on February 23.

Shabani graduated from high school in Skopje, Macedonia, in 2010 and from the American University in Paris in 2014, according to her Facebook profile. Her family has offered a US$25,000 reward for information that might help find her.

Shabani, a student at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting in Hollywood, was set to graduate in September, said Jayden Brant, a private investigator hired by Shabani’s family.

Shabani was 25 years old when she went missing. Her 26th birthday was March 16.