Two models have been found dead in their luxury downtown Los Angeles apartments just days apart.
As reported by The Los Angeles Times, the body of 32-year-old Nichole "Nikki" Coats was discovered in her apartment on Sept. 10.
Two days later, 31-year-old Maleesa Mooney was found dead in her apartment. The Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed that Mooney's death is being investigated as murder, but Coats' death is not.
Authorities have not revealed if there's believed to be any link between the two deaths, but Coats' family believes that she was murdered, too.
In an interview with TV station KTLA, Coats' relatives confirmed she was found dead in her apartment after authorities did a welfare check following multiple attempts from family to contact her.
“I couldn’t recognize her,” said May Stevens, Nikki’s aunt. "I believe it was murder, I really do."
According to Stevens, the last they heard from Coats was when she told them she was going on a date on Friday, Sept. 8. "I feel that there's a predator loose," Stevens added. While it's not being treated as a murder, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said it's still an open case.
Her family has set up a GoFundMe to cover the funeral costs, which has already surpassed the $10,000 goal with $15,235 coming from 208 donors. "Nikki’s vibrant personality was one that touched and affected everyone she crossed paths with," reads the campaign. "She is known as an amazing daughter, friend and soul. Her untimely passing has left us shocked. There’s no way we could have imagined or prepared for this difficult time."
Coats' cousin Sheniya Mason told ABC 7 that she was "so distraught" by the news of her death. “They had to [identify] her by her tattoos,” she added. "We just want to know what happened. … It just doesn’t seem right. … Is there a correlation between these two females? Is there a correlation? They were both almost in the same area...we need to make sure that this isn’t something else because it just didn’t seem right."
According to a press release from the LAPD, officers discovered Mooney's body following a welfare check. The apartments for the two models are less than three miles apart. A postmortem examination has so far proved inconclusive regarding Mooney's cause of death, but authorities are seeking any information regarding the her death.